Yair Lapid opens first Israeli embassy in Gulf on UAE visit – Times of India

ABU DHABI: Israel’s top diplomat Yair Lapid opened the Jewish state’s first embassy in the Gulf during a visit to the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday, nine months after signing the normalization agreement.
He met his Emirati counterpart, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, tweeting a picture of the two shaking hands soon after the opening of the embassy.
Lapid also tweeted a photo of herself and UAE minister Noura al-Kaabi, with a blue and white ribbon of the Israeli flag cut.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blink The opening was hailed as “historic”.
Lapid’s visit and the opening of the first Israeli embassy in the Gulf state are “important for Israel, the United Arab Emirates and the wider region,” he said in a statement.
Israeli ministers have previously visited the United Arab Emirates, but the newly appointed Lapid became the most senior Israeli to visit, and the first on an official mission.
“Israel wants peace with its neighbors. With all our neighbors. We’re not going anywhere. The Middle East is our home. We’re here to stay. We ask all countries in the region to recognize it. And Come talk to us,” Lapid said during the opening ceremony.
Lapid and his UAE counterpart signed an agreement on economic and trade cooperation, Israel’s foreign ministry later said in a statement.
The agreement, subject to the approval of both governments and renewable every five years, also pertains to cooperation in fairs and exchange of delegations.
Since their US-broker normalization agreement was signed last September, Israel and the UAE have signed deals ranging from tourism to aviation and financial services.
During his two-day visit, Lapid will “meet with five (Emirati) ministers in less than 30 hours”, said Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Lior Hait.
Lapid, who is set to become Israel’s prime minister in two years as part of a coalition government deal, was also due to inaugurate a consulate in Dubai.
Lapid’s visit comes nearly a year after the nations moved to normalize relations, and follows a series of visits by Israeli officials that were then planned, including the COVID pandemic and diplomatic scuffles. The issues were settled.
In March, a planned official visit by the then Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu According to Israeli officials, it was canceled due to a “dispute” with Jordan over the use of its airspace.
Netanyahu, in a coalition government replaced as prime minister by Jewish nationalist Naftali Bennett, whom Lapid linked together weeks earlier, had already postponed his February visits to the UAE and Bahrain over coronavirus travel restrictions.
According to the Jerusalem Post daily, Netanyahu tried to block his foreign minister, Gabi Ashkenazi, from making an official visit to the United Arab Emirates, to prevent him from making headlines ahead of the March elections.
In August 2020, the former white House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner and Israel’s National Security Adviser Mir Ben-Shabat created history by flying to Abu Dhabi from Israel on an Al Al plane.
This was achieved by both sides as a breakthrough in peace efforts in the Middle East, marked by a touch decorated with the word “peace” in English, Arabic and Hebrew by El al-Jet.
Israel’s normalization agreement with the United Arab Emirates last year and then with Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan has been condemned by Palestinians.
The deal breaks with the Arab League’s long-standing policy of having no ties with Israel until it makes peace with the Palestinians.
Hajm Qasim, spokesman for the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas Which governs Gaza, said the opening of the embassy showed the UAE was “emphasizing” the “sin” of implementing the normalization agreement.
Also on Tuesday, Bahrain appointed its first ambassador to Israel.
Lapid is a centrist former television presenter who firmly held Israel’s new coalition together, ending Netanyahu’s more than a decade term as prime minister.
He tried to sabotage his rival’s policies, saying on Monday that Netanyahu’s government had taken “a terrible gamble” by focusing only on relations. Republican Party in Washington.


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