Israel opens Consulate in Dubai

Dubai - The Israeli Embassy too was inaugurated in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.


Michal Michelle Divon

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Published: Wed 30 Jun 2021, 8:26 PM

Last updated: Wed 30 Jun 2021, 8:53 PM

Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid concluded his historic two-day visit to the UAE, vowing that his government will work to deepen cooperation between the two countries.

Addressing dignitaries at the inauguration of the Israeli Consulate in Dubai on Wednesday along with Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Lapid drew similarities between the two nations, saying they both created an “incredible reality out of the desert” and quoted UAE’s founding father late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan before leaving for Israel.

“When we look at our relations, allow me to quote the great founding father of the UAE: ‘We are like those who had climbed a mountain and reached the top. When we looked down we still wanted to go higher and realise our goals, despite all our achievements we will still have ambition for more’. That is my way of looking at things. That is also our way of looking at things,” said Lapid.

Al Olama said: “This ceremony is an important moment for all of us. Though expanded counselor cooperation between the UAE and Israel will build a firm record of cultural economic and political engagement… it is also going to create people-to-people exchange which will be one of the most powerful resources that the UAE and Israel is going to have together.”

The Israeli Embassy was inaugurated in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.

In a foreign press briefing on Wednesday, Lapid said both sides will work towards formulating a mutually acceptable mechanism that will be implemented as soon as possible, whilst ensuring public health and safety. Lapid said the Health Ministers from both countries will work together closely as they monitor the spread of the virus, and ultimately formulate the much-anticipated travel corridor that will increase economic opportunities and people-to-people ties.

Lapid said Israel-UAE bilateral trade has reached over $675.22 million (Dh2.48 billion) within ten months of signing the Abraham Accords in September 2020. The Israeli foreign minister told Emirates News Agency (WAM) that he estimates bilateral trade potential “will multiply many times over in the coming years.”

During the second day of his visit, Lapid met Minister of State for International Co-operation and Director General of Expo 2020 Reem Al Hashimy and also visited the Israel Pavilion at the Expo 2020 site together with UAE Ambassador to Israel Mohamed Al Khaja, director-general at the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs Alon Ushpiz, Expo Commissioner Elazar Cohen and Malki Shem Tov, Producer of the Israel Pavilion.

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