WATCH: In 1st For Gulf State, UAE Opens Embassy In Israel

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Israel's President Isaac Herzog, left, shakes hands with United Arab Emirates Ambassador to Israel Mohamed Al Khaja during the opening ceremony for the new UAE Embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel, Wednesday, July 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

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The United Arab Emirates formally inaugurated its embassy in Israel on Wednesday, less than a year after the signing of the Abraham Accords.

The embassy is situated in the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) building in the heart of Tel Aviv’s business district, a symbolic location as both Israel and the UAE view the normalization deal as an opportunity to boost their economies.

Israeli President Yitzchak Herzog and the Emirati Ambassador to Israel Mohammad Mahmoud Al Khajah spoke at the ceremony, with the latter stating: “This is just the beginning. Both countries are innovative nations and we will harness these new approaches for the prosperity of the countries.”

“To see the Emirati flag in the skies of Tel Aviv would have seemed a distant dream. Today it is a reality,” Herzog said.

Herzog also hinted at further peace deals, saying: “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.”

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, who inaugurated the Israeli Embassy in Abu Dhabi two weeks ago, did not intend the inauguration as he entered quarantine Tuesday night after one of his aides tested positive for COVID. The aide was part of the team that accompanied Lapid to Brussels on Monday and was on the flight with him back to Israel. The other team members tested negative but are required to self-quarantine since they were in close proximity to him on the plane.

In a separate incident, a member of Lapid’s party, Yesh Atikd MK Vladimir Beliak, tested positive for the coronavirus on Wednesday.

Later on Wednesday, the aide received negative results on two additional coronavirus tests, and the Health Ministry allowed him and Lapid to leave quarantine.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)