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'This is Just the Beginning': UAE Officially Opens Embassy in Israel

07-14-2021
Israel's President Isaac Herzog, left, cuts a ribbon with United Arab Emirates Ambassador to Israel Mohamed Al Khaja during the opening ceremony for the new UAE Embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel, Wednesday, July 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)
Israel's President Isaac Herzog, left, cuts a ribbon with United Arab Emirates Ambassador to Israel Mohamed Al Khaja during the opening ceremony for the new UAE Embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel, Wednesday, July 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

JERUSALEM, Israel – The United Arab Emirates (UAE) officially opened its embassy in Tel Aviv on Wednesday.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog attended the historic event hosted by UAE Ambassador to Israel Mohammad al Khaja. The occasion included a ribbon-cutting ceremony, flag raising, and a reception.

“To see the Emirati flag in the skies of Tel Aviv would have seemed a distant dream. Today it is a reality,” Herzog said.

Khaja said it is “a great honor” for his country to open an embassy in Israel.

 “This is just the beginning. Both countries are innovative nations and we will harness these new approaches for the prosperity of the countries,” he said.

Last month, Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid inaugurated Israel’s embassy in Abu Dhabi and opened the Israeli consulate in Dubai.

“We are standing here today because we chose peace over war, cooperation over conflict, the good of our children over the bad memories of the past,” Lapid said at the opening ceremony of the embassy.

The embassy openings come nearly a year after Israel and the UAE announced they would normalize ties in an agreement known as the “Abraham Accords.” Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco also agreed to normalize ties.

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