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UAE-Israel discuss opening embassies during Abu Dhabi 'normalisation' meeting

The two countries announced normalisation of ties [Getty]

Date of publication: 1 September, 2020

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A meeting between UAE and Israeli officials in Abu Dhabi on Monday saw plans to open up embassies in the two countries discussed.
The UAE and Israel launched discussions on opening embassies as part of deepening diplomatic ties between the two states, the Israeli Jerusalem Post reported on Tuesday.

The talks took place between the two parties and the Jared Kushner-led US delegation in Abu Dhabi on Monday, according to the report.

"We have started a historic process and are planning to support the institutionalisation of all our relations and open embassies in the two countries as soon as possible to enhance cooperation between the UAE and Israel," Director General of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs Alon Ozbek said, according to the Israeli platform.

The movement of trade, people and banking are key to the progressing relationship between the two states, the official said.

Meanwhile, Israel Hayom reported on Tuesday that Emirati officials have expressed interest in visiting Israel.

The report also confirmed most meetings held in Abu Dhabi following the dubbed "historic" flight from Tel Aviv to the Emirati capital on Monday were held in the presence of the Israeli National Security Advisor Meir Ben Shabbat as well as his Emirati counterpart, Tahnoun bin Zayed.

The reports came as the White House on Monday evening issued a statement, on behalf of all three parties, to express their commitment to reach a peace agreement and expand cooperation in various fields.

These include investments, banking, health, aviation, foreign relations and diplomatic affairs, tourism and culture, the statement said.

The US and Israeli delegation arrived in the UAE on an El Al plane on Monday in the first-ever direct commercial passenger flight between the two countries.

The flight followed an agreement brokered by the Trump administration last month that saw the two countries establish diplomatic relations.

The UAE has claimed that the normalisation deal forced Israel to halt its contentious plan to annex parts of the West Bank sought by the Palestinians for their future state. 

Read also: UAE-Israel direct flight 'painful to watch', says Palestinian PM

It also may help the Emiratis acquire advanced US weapons systems that have been previously unattainable, such as the F-35 fighter jet. Currently, Israel is the only country in the region with the stealth warplanes.

The Palestinians, however, have fiercely opposed the normalisation deal as peeling away one of their few advantages in moribund peace talks with Israel.

Palestinians have held public protests and burned the UAE flag in anger.

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