Photo Credit: WAM
Mohamed Mahmoud Al Khaja was sworn in as the Emirati Ambassador to Israel, Feb. 14, 2021.

Mohamed Mahmoud Al Khaja was sworn in as the Emirati Ambassador to Israel, before H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid and H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed, WAM reported Sunday.

The ambassador vowed to respect the UAE’s constitution and laws, work sincerely to prioritize the Emirates’ interests and keep the State secrets while performing his diplomatic tasks.

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Sheikh Mohammed wished Al Khaja success in his mission, calling on the ambassador to work sincerely to strengthen the friendship and cooperation relations with Israel and to maintain the culture of peace, coexistence, and tolerance between the two nations’ peoples and the peoples of the region.

Attending were several ministers and senior officials from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and Presidential Affairs.

On August 13, 2020, the UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash announced his country’s agreement to normalize relations with Israel saying that his country wanted to deal with the threats facing the two-state solution, specifically the annexation of the “Palestinian territories,” and urging the Palestinians and Israelis to return to the negotiating table.

He indicated that he did not think there would be an embassy in Jerusalem until after there is a final agreement between the Palestinians and the Israelis. According to then-President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, “Israel and the United Arab Emirates will fully normalize their diplomatic relations. They will exchange embassies and ambassadors and begin cooperation across the board and on a broad range of areas including tourism, education, healthcare, trade, and security.”

A joint statement issued by Trump, Netanyahu, and Zayed, read: “This historic diplomatic breakthrough will advance peace in the Middle East region and is a testament to the bold diplomacy and vision of the three leaders and the courage of the United Arab Emirates and Israel to chart a new path that will unlock the great potential in the region.”

Zayed tweeted that the “UAE and Israel also agreed to a cooperation and to set a roadmap towards establishing a bilateral relationship.”

The treaty was signed on September 15, 2020. It recognizes each state’s sovereignty, obliges the two states to exchange ambassadors and conclude bilateral agreements on several topics including visa agreements, and will enter into force upon ratification. The agreement was ratified by the Israeli government on October 12 and was ratified by the Knesset on October 15.

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