United Arab Emirates opens embassy in Israel, the first from the Gulf states


By Jenny Goldsberry

United Arab Emirates made history Wednesday when they became the first Gulf state to open an embassy in Israel. The two states began relations thanks to the “Abraham Accords,” a peace deal between Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain at the White House. The Trump administration crafted the deal last year.

It was clear that the United States was also credited for the diplomacy. Former assistant to the Israeli President Avi Berkowitz thanked “all who made today a reality” in a tweet.

The Trump administration brokered the deal to normalize diplomatic ties between the two countries in August 2020, and it was officially signed in September. Around the same time, the first direct flight from Tel Aviv to Abu Dhabi took place. Phone lines have also been opened up for public use as part of the historic deal.

As a result, number of other Arab countries have signaled theyโ€™re interested in making peace with the Jewish State.

“Since the normalisation of ties …we have seen for the first time discussions on trade and investment opportunities,” UAE ambassador Mohamed Al Khaja said during the inauguration. Now, his country’s flag flies outside the building. “We signed major agreements across various fields, including economy, air travel, technology and culture.”

Israeli President Isaac Herzog said the opening was “an important milestone in our journey towards the future, peace prosperity and security” for the Middle East. “Seeing the Emirati flag flying proudly in Tel Aviv might have seemed like a far-fetched dream about a year ago,” he said. “In many ways nothing could be more natural and normal.”

You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism.