In a new’sign of goodwill,’ the UAE opens its first embassy in Israel.

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On Wednesday, the United Arab Emirates established its first embassy in Israel, just two weeks after Israel built an embassy in the Middle Eastern country.

The UAE Embassy is housed at the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange.

The openings represent a new chapter in the two nations’ diplomatic ties, which began approximately a year ago. Last November, the first commercial flight between the two countries got off.

The neighboring countries announced last August that they agreed to normalize ties. Since then, planned visits have been held back for various reasons, including health issues and diplomatic disagreements.

“It is a great honor to open the embassy here. Ten months ago our two countries signed the Abraham Accords with a vision of dignity, prosperity and peace for the two peoples,” UAE Ambassador to Israel Mohamed Al Khajah said at the ceremony Wednesday, according to The Times of Israel.

Newly elected Israeli President Isaac Herzog hailed the opening as an important moment in the Middle East.

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“This blessed process cannot stop,” he said, according to The Times of Israel. “In my recent telephone conversations with leaders of the region, I again understand that we have more partners and allies in this mission than we thought.”

The ceremony ended with Al Khaja opening trading at the stock exchange.

“The UAE and Israel are innovative nations that will harness innovation for the future of the people of the country and the region,” he said during the ceremony, according to The Jerusalem Post. “The people of the region are hoping for a new, prosperous Middle East.”

Herzog said the openings are a “sign of friendship” between the UAE and Israel, and that both nations have much in common.

Foreign minister Yair Lapid, who is in COVID-19 quarantine, visited the UAE last month.


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