By Abigail Klein Leichman
The United Arab Emirates’ Israeli Embassy was formally inaugurated on July 14 with a ceremonial ribbon-cutting by UAE Ambassador to Israel Mohamed Al Khaja and Israeli President Isaac Herzog.
Al Khaja noted that the two countries signed the Abraham Accords in Washington last September “with a vision of dignity, prosperity and peace for the two peoples. It is time for new approaches and thinking to set a new and better path for the future of the region.”
“It is our hope that the opening of the UAE Embassy in Tel Aviv will mark an important milestone in the growing relationship between our two countries and between the peoples of the UAE and Israel,” he said.
The new embassy is housed in the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange building, where the Israeli and Emirati dignitaries jointly rang the bell opening trading for the day. TASE had an Emirati flag flying outside next to its banner and the Israeli flag.
“To see the Emirati flag in the skies of Tel Aviv would have seemed a distant dream. Today it is a reality,” Herzog said.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry hailed the embassy opening as “another historic moment on the peace train.”
Earlier in the day, UAE Minister for Food and Water Security Mariam Al-Muhairi came to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem to promote a food-tech and ag-tech research and innovation partnership.
This meeting marked the first official visit of a senior UAE government official to an Israeli academic institution since the announcement of the Abraham Accords.
Left to right: UAE Ambassador to Israel Mohamed Al Khaja, Watergen CEO and President Michael Mirilashvili, BGU President Prof. Daniel Chamovitz and Mariam Almheiri, Minister of State for Food & Water Security, UAE. Photo by Dani Machlis/BGU
Also on July 14, Al-Muhairi and Al Khaja attended the opening of the Moshe Mirilashvili Center for Food Security in the Desert at Ben-Gurion University in Beersheva. Food security is one of the main areas in which the UAE is interested in innovation.
Israeli President Isaac Herzog and UAE Ambassador to Israel Mohamed Al Khaja cutting the ribbon on the United Arab Emirates embassy in Tel Aviv, July 14, 2021.
Photo by Miriam Alster/Flash90