UAE embassy in Israel: Opening delayed due to Covid restrictions

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Abu Dhabi

UAE’s foreign ministry is coordinating with its counterparts in Israel to expedite opening.
The UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation is coordinating its counterparts in Israel to open an embassy in Tel Aviv.
In a statement issued on Monday, the ministry said the opening has been affected due to restrictions imposed in Israel to curb the spread of Covid-19.
“With UAE and Israeli efforts to lead the world’s fastest vaccination campaigns, we remain hopeful that the situation will improve and that the process of opening the embassy can be completed soon,” the ministry said.
The statement comes a day after the UAE Cabinet approved the establishment of an embassy in Tel Aviv.
The Israel Foreign Ministry had on Monday announced that it had opened an embassy in the UAE. “Today the Israeli embassy in Abu Dhabi has officially been opened, with the arrival of the mission head Eitan Naeh,” the ministry said in a statement. Meanwhile,Israel opened an embassy in the United Arab Emirates Sunday, its foreign ministry said, in a historic move four months after the Jewish state and the Gulf country normalised ties.
The embassy is the latest in Israel’s diplomatic outreach to the Arab world, with a flurry of normalisation agreements and new deals with four countries over recent months.
“Today the Israeli embassy in Abu Dhabi has officially been opened, with the arrival of the mission head Eitan Naeh,” the ministry said in a statement.
“The Israeli embassy in the United Arab Emirates will advance relations between the countries on all levels.”
The UAE, along with Bahrain, signed a US-brokered deal in September to normalise relations with the Jewish state.
The agreements, known as the “Abraham Accords”, shattered a longstanding Arab consensus that there should be no normalisation with Israel until it reaches a comprehensive peace deal with the Palestinians.
The Palestinians condemned the agreements as a “stab in the back”.
Read UAE cabinet approves establishment of embassy in Tel Aviv
The Israeli embassy in Abu Dhabi will be operating from “temporary offices” until locating a permanent facility, the foreign ministry statement said.
The mission will “expand the ties with the Emirati government, financial bodies and the private sector, universities, the media and more,” it added.
Israel and the UAE have already signed treaties on direct flights and visa-free travel, along with accords on investment protection, science and technology.
Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi welcomed the move, saying the embassy would “enable the expansion of bilateral relations between Israel and the Emirates for a swift and maximal implementation of the potential in these ties”.—Reuters

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