Jerusalem (AP) – The United Arab Emirates officially opened its embassy in Israel on Wednesday, inaugurating its diplomatic offices in Tel Aviv less than a year after the two countries announced that open relations would be established.
Speaking at the ceremony, Israeli President Yitzhak Herzog said the opening of the embassy was “an important milestone in our joint journey toward a future of peace, prosperity and security for the Middle East.”
The inauguration of the Emirates Embassy took place two weeks after Israel decreed the film on its embassy In Abu Dhabi during Foreign Minister Yair Lapid’s visit to the United Arab Emirates in June.
Israel and the United Arab Emirates officially established diplomatic relations last year after decades of secret ties. The two countries signed the U.S.-mediated normalization agreement on the White House lawn in September, and a host of economic deals and bilateral cooperation in the months since.
The Emirate of the United Arab Emirates is located in the same tower as the Israel Stock Exchange in the heart of Tel Aviv’s business district. Most countries have embassies in Tel Aviv because of Jerusalem’s controversial status – one of the most difficult issues in the Middle East conflict. The US moved its embassy to Jerusalem in 2018, and a handful of countries Followed him.
Israel conquered East Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East War and later annexed it in a move not recognized by the majority of the international community. The city is home to the Israeli parliament, the Supreme Court and many government ministries. Palestinians seek East Jerusalem as the capital of a future independent state.
UAE Ambassador to Israel Muhammad al-Hajah told reporters that the embassy would “form the basis of our mission to continue to build on our new partnership, seek dialogue, not disagreement, build a new peace paradigm and provide a model for a new collaborative approach to Middle East conflict resolution.”