Israel opens diplomatic mission in UAE, first in Gulf

Israel has announced that it is finalizing the opening of a diplomatic office in the United Arab Emirates, which will begin its activities soon, while Abu Dhabi insists the mission is strictly limited to the activities of the UN International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA.)

A senior Israeli government official hinted that the office will be headed by diplomat Rami Hatan as final preparations on the ground for the formal opening continue.

Maryam Al Falasi, director of communications in the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs, clarified that the UAE’s position towards Israel has not changed, that the diplomatic mission will only be accredited to the IRENA and that its activities will be limited to issues relating to the international agency.

The Jewish government is glad that it has an official presence in the Gulf State after several years of talks. Israel will be the only country accredited to IRENA in what seems much like the Iran-U.S. scenario with Tehran having a diplomatic mission accredited to the UN but not to the host country as their bilateral relations continue to be strained.

UAE however does not recognize Israel as a state and supports the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.

Israel is hoping that its diplomatic presence in the Gulf through IRENA will be a major political boost to smoothen ties with Arab States. Israel has full diplomatic relations only with Egypt and Jordan after the signing of peace treaties in 1979 and 1994 respectively.

Falasi highlighted that the diplomatic office that would be opened will be strictly limited to the activities of IRENA and “the functions of missions accredited to IRENA… do not, under any circumstances, cover any other activities and do not involve any obligation upon the host country with regards to its diplomatic relations or any other relations.”

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