LONDON: The UAE’s ambassador to Israel opened his country’s embassy in Israel on Wednesday.
Mohamed Al-Khaja inaugurated the diplomatic offices in Tel Aviv less than a year after the UAE became only the third Arab country to establish full diplomatic relations with Israel.
“It is time for a new approach and thinking to determine a better path for the future of the region,” Al-Khaja said. “We hope that the opening of the UAE embassy in Tel Aviv will represent a cornerstone in the growing relations between our two countries and peoples.”
Israeli President Isaac Herzog, and UAE Minister of State for Food and Water Security Mariam Al-Mheiri attended the ceremony.
Herzog said: “The opening of the UAE embassy in Tel Aviv is an important milestone in our joint journey toward a future of peace, prosperity and security for the Middle East.
“Seeing the UAE flag flying proudly in Tel Aviv was an unattainable dream just one year ago. In many ways, it is now a normal thing.”
The UAE reached a US-brokered agreement in August to normalize ties with Israel. In the following weeks, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco reached similar deals.
The UAE and Israel have signed a flurry of economic and cooperation deals in the months since.
Al-Mheiri praised the progress on relations.
“This is a new era of development and prosperity for our two countries,” she said. “The opening of the embassy represents a milestone and will facilitate the exchange of knowledge and experiences across various vital sectors.”
The UAE Embassy is situated in the same tower as Israel’s stock exchange in the heart of Tel Aviv’s business district.
The Emirati embassy’s inauguration came weeks after Israel Foreign Minister Yair Lapid cut the ribbon on its embassy in Abu Dhabi.