Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Emirati Technical Team Arrives in Israel to Prepare for Embassy Opening

Emirati Technical Team Arrives in Israel to Prepare for Embassy Opening

Tuesday, 16 February, 2021 - 11:15
The national flags of Israel and the United Arab Emirates flutter along a highway in Netanya, Israel (File Photo: Reuters)

An Emirati technical delegation has arrived in Tel Aviv on Monday, despite the coronavirus measures which included the closure of Ben Gurion Airport.

The team will prepare for the Emirati embassy opening in Tel Aviv and arrange the final necessary measures.

A government source said that the relevant ministries granted the Emirati delegation a special permit enabling it to enter Israel, despite the lockdown.

He considered the move an indication that "launching bilateral relations is an urgent need for both."

Earlier, Mohamed Mahmoud al-Khaja was sworn in as UAE's ambassador to Israel by Dubai Ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid at a ceremony at al-Watan Palace in Abu Dhabi.

Sheikh Mohammed wished Khaja success in his mission, calling on the ambassador to work sincerely to strengthen friendship and cooperation relations with Israel, and to maintain the culture of peace, coexistence, and tolerance between the two nations' peoples and the peoples of the region, according to the foreign ministry.

Israel has appointed Eitan Naeh to set up a temporary mission in Abu Dhabi. The diplomat served as an ambassador in China, Japan, Switzerland, and Turkey before he was expelled by Ankara.

He will be the first Israeli to receive a full diplomatic status in the UAE and his temporary mission will help establish a permanent embassy.

Upon his arrival, Naeh tweeted saying “excited to be here will be an understatement,” adding that he is ready to open the Israeli embassy in Abu Dhabi.

Israel had closed its main airport until the end of January, as part of additional measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus. The closure was extended for additional weeks, hindering the expansion of exchanged flights between the two countries.

Editor Picks