Israel will establish its first diplomatic representative mission in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the capital Abu Dhabi, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem confirmed today. The Israel representative will be attached to the inter-governmental International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). The Israeli mission was approved following intensive diplomatic talks between Israel and the UAE including a visit by Ministry of Foreign Affairs director general Dore Gold to Abu Dhabi last week.
The opening of the office, first reported by "Haaretz" is seen in Jerusalem as a major breakthrough in relations between Israel and the UAE that was seen with deep suspicion by Israel die to its role in the nuclear agreement signed earlier this year between Iran and the western powers. Israel has invested major efforts over the past decade in becoming closer to the UAE. While most of the cooperation between Israel and the Gulf State is in intelligence and security, far from the public eye, the opening of the new office is an exceptional public step bringing the two countries closer together.
The new office will focus on renewable energy matters. Several years ago there had been competition between the UAE and Germany to host the IRENA offices and Israel has supported the Gulf state in the hope that it would be allowed to post a representative to the organization.
Israel's covert relations with the UAE suffered a setback in 2010 over the alleged assassination by the Mossad in a Dubai hotel room of Mahmoud Al-Mabhouh, the leader of Hamas's Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades. But in the last government, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman targeted the UAE as a key country in the Arab world with potential for improved relations with Israel.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on November 27, 2015
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