Sunday, 28 Feb 2021 - 16 of Adar, 5781

Israel opens provisional embassy in UAE, approves historic normalization agreement with Morocco

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The move allows for “maximum and rapid realization of the potential inherent” in relations between the two countries, says Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi.


Israel’s diplomatic mission to Abu Dhabi officially opened on Sunday with the arrival in the United Arab Emirates of head of mission Eitan Na’eh, the Israeli Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Na’eh, formerly Israel’s ambassador to Turkey, will head the temporary mission until an ambassador is appointed and a permanent site for an embassy can be found. In the meantime, the mission will operate out of temporary offices, to be inaugurated in the coming days, according to the Foreign Ministry.

Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi wished Na’eh and the rest of the mission staff success, saying, “The opening of the delegation will allow for the expansion of bilateral ties between Israel and the Emirates for the maximum and rapid realization of the potential inherent in these relations.”

Ashkenazi also expressed his gratitude to Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Muhammad bin Zayed and UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin-Zayed for extending their hospitality to Israel’s representatives, and welcomed the UAE’s decision on Sunday to open an embassy in Israel.

“This is an important decision that will lead to the promotion of warm ties between the countries and the peoples. We expect to receive representatives of the emirates in the country soon,” he said.

The Israeli Liaison Office in Rabat and the Consulate General of Israel in Dubai are expected to open in the coming days, according to the Foreign Ministry, which noted that the Israeli embassy in Manama, Bahrain, has already been in operation for several weeks.

“I would like to commend King Mohammed VI of Morocco on the cooperation between us,” says Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The Israeli Cabinet on Sunday unanimously approved the country’s normalization agreement Morocco, the fourth U.S.-brokered peace deal with a Muslim-Arab state in the past four months.

The deal with Morocco, which is being submitted to the Knesset for ratification, follows similar agreements with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan.

“I would like to commend King Mohammed VI of Morocco on the cooperation between us,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at start of the Cabinet meeting. “Together we are advancing direct flights between the countries, which will happen soon, as well as economic, commercial and technological cooperation and—of course—the opening of missions in the two countries.”

The deal was in the making last month, when Jared Kushner, senior adviser to former U.S. President Donald Trump, led a delegation from Israel to Morocco aboard the first direct flight between the two countries, which—prior to the outbreak of the Second Intifada in 2000—had liaison offices in Rabat and Tel Aviv. Leading the Israeli delegation on the same flight was Israeli National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat, whose family hails from Morocco.



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