By Arab News
Israel opened an embassy in Abu Dhabi on Sunday after the UAE said it would do the same in Tel Aviv.
The UAE and Israel signed a US-brokered peace agreement on Sept. 15 to fully establish diplomatic ties and normalize relations.
Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco also signed similar agreements and all four countries have began direct flights to and from Israel.
Israel’s government regards Jerusalem as its capital, although that is not recognized by most of the international community. Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state and most countries have their embassies in Tel Aviv.
The UAE approved the embassy during a cabinet meeting chaired by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, vice president, prime minister and Ruler of Dubai.
Shortly after, Israel announced it had opened its embassy in the Emirati capital, Abu Dhabi, as an additional step in implementing the peace agreement. The mission will be headed by Eitan Naeh.
“The Israeli embassy in the United Arab Emirates will promote the full range of relations between the two countries in all areas, and expand ties with the Emirati government, economic bodies and the private sector, academic institutions, the media, and more,” Israel’s foreign ministry said.
The temporary embassy will work to advance Israel’s interests and to serve its citizens, the ministry said.
Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi said: “The opening of the mission will enable the expansion of bilateral ties between Israel and the UAE, and the full and quick implementation of the potential inherent in our relations.”
The ministry statement also said that an Israeli Liaison Office in Rabat and Consulate General of Israel in Dubai are expected to open in the coming days, as well as Israeli embassies in the Bahraini capital Manama, “which has already been active for several weeks.”