UAE is first Gulf state to open Israel embassy

The UAE has now become the first Gulf state to have an embassy in Israel, after the flurry of positive diplomatic breakthroughs between Israel and some predominantly-Muslim countries that was brokered by the Trump administration.

Israel's President Isaac Herzog attended the opening ceremony in Tel Aviv with UAE ambassador Mohamed Al Khaja:

[UAE ambassador to Israel, Mohamed Al Khaja, saying:] "Ten months ago, our two countries signed the Abraham Accords with a vision to pursue peace, security and prosperity in our region. Today's official opening of the UAE embassy is a key part of that vision. This embassy will serve not just as a home for diplomats but a base for our task to continue to build on our new partnership."

[President of Israel, Isaac Herzog, saying:] "While seeing the Emirati flag flying proudly in Tel Aviv might have seemed a far fetched dream just about a year ago, in many ways nothing can be more natural and normal."

The two countries were brought together last year by the U.S. accords and mutual distrust of Iran.

Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco have also improved their ties with Israel, but to the anger of Palestinian officials. The UAE says though, that improved ties with Israel should ultimately benefit Palestinian issues.

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