World, Middle East

UAE’s 1st ambassador to Israel submits credentials

Mohammad Mahmoud Al Khaja sworn in last month following normalization agreement signed last September

AbdelRaouf Arnaout   | 01.03.2021
UAE’s 1st ambassador to Israel submits credentials

JERUSALEM

The first ambassador of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to Israel on Monday submitted his diplomatic credential to President Reuven Rivlin.

Mohammad Mahmoud Al Khaja arrived in Tel Aviv after the two countries controversially agreed last September to normalize their relations.

Rivlin said on Twitter that he got Al Khaja’s credentials, stressing that "there is so much Israelis and Emiratis can do together to advance our peoples and the whole Middle East in cooperation, mutual respect, prosperity and peace."

In a separate meeting, Al Khaja also discussed with Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi "ways to enhance cooperation," according to a tweet by the Emirati diplomat.

For his part, Ashkenazi said on Twitter: "This is a significant milestone in relations between our countries. I welcome your arrival to promote the opening of an Emirati embassy, as well as the fast opening of the Israeli missions in the UAE."

Al Khaja is scheduled to leave Israel on Wednesday to return later to take up his duties, after locating the Abu Dhabi Embassy in Tel Aviv, according to the official Israeli Broadcasting Corporation.

Last month, Al Khaja was sworn in as the UAE’s ambassador to Israel.

In 2020, the UAE, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco announced controversial normalization agreements with Israel.

Palestinian leaders called the deals betrayals of the Palestinian cause.

Israel appointed has Eitan Na’eh to head a temporary mission in Abu Dhabi until a permanent envoy is assigned.

*Bassel Barakat in Ankara contributed to this report

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