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Israel appoints ambassador to UAE, while Netanyahu prepares to invite Moroccan king for 'election boost'

A number of Arab states normalised relations with Israel [Getty]

Date of publication: 5 January, 2021

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Israel has appointed a temporary ambassador to the UAE, while Netanyahu reportedly extended an invitation to Morocco's King Mohammed VI.

Former Israeli ambassador to Turkey Eitan Na'eh has been appointed as the country's top diplomat to Abu Dhabi, as Israel sets up its mission in the UAE.

Israel's foreign ministry announced that Na'eh will be the country's first official diplomat to the UAE and will arrive in the capital Abu Dhabi in the next few days.

His position as charge d'affaires is expected to be temporary until an ambassador is appointed. This is most likely to take place after upcoming Israeli elections set to take place in March.

Na'eh will work at a temporary Israeli mission, while the foreign ministry sets up its embassy in the UAE.

Na'eh was Israel's ambassador in Ankara between 2016 to 2018 but was expelled by Turkey after Israeli forces killed more than 60 Palestinians during the start of the Great Return March protests in the besieged Gaza Strip.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is planning to invite Morocco's King Mohammed VI to visit the country before elections take place in a bid to appeal to Israel's Moroccan Jewish population.

Israelis of Moroccan origin possess a significant electoral power, exceeding 200,000 potential votes. These votes are seen as valuable to the Likud Party, which is reportedly concerned about its chances of winning the upcoming Israeli elections.

Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan have also agreed to normalise relations with Israel.

The UAE has been accused of using Israeli spyware to snoop on dozens of dissidents and journalists.

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