The United Arab Emirates on Wednesday became the first Gulf state to open an embassy in Israel, as its envoy hailed the trade and investment opportunities that closer ties would bring at a flag-raising ceremony also attended by Israel’s president, APA reports citing France 24.
Brought together by shared unease about Iran, the UAE and Bahrain normalised relations with Israel last year under the “Abraham Accords” crafted by the administration of then-U.S. President Donald Trump.
Sudan and Morocco have since also moved to establish ties with Israel.
The opening of the UAE embassy, which is situated in the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, followed the inauguration of Israel’s embassy in the UAE last month.
“Since the normalisation of ties ... we have seen for the first time discussions on trade and investment opportunities,” UAE ambassador Mohamed Al Khaja said, after raising his country’s flag outside the building.
“We signed major agreements across various fields, including economy, air travel, technology and culture.”
Israeli President Isaac Herzog called the opening of the embassy “an important milestone in our journey towards the future, peace prosperity and security” for the Middle East.