First UAE ambassador arrives in Israel

Mohamed Al Khaja is in the country for a three-day visit


The UAE’s first ambassador to Israel, Mohamed Al Khaja, has landed in the country for a three-day visit.

Mr Al Khaja tweeted that he met with Israeli foreign minister Gabi Ashkenazi "to discuss growing bilateral relations since the signing of the Abraham Accords, as well as enhancing cooperation in various fields."

He was also expected to present his credentials to President Reuven Rivlin.

The 40-year-old Abu Dhabi native was chief of staff in the UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation.

His appointment is another historic milestone between the two countries, who opened diplomatic relations with the historic signing of the Abraham Accords in Washington on September 15, 2020.

The new ambassador recently launched a Twitter account, which has already amassed nearly 30,000 followers.

On Friday, he tweeted: “For Emiratis and Israelis, a new chapter of openness, understanding and prosperity is beginning. Looking forward to my first visit. See you next week. Shabbat Shalom.”

Mr Al Khaja, who was tested for coronavirus upon arrival, will reportedly also be taking time to scout locations for a possible embassy. His team will be working out of a temporary Tel Aviv location until a permanent solution is found.

His visit follows on the announcement that the UAE’s Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI) and Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science (WIS) are embarking on a new partnership.

The initiative will “facilitate joint research, training, conferences and student exchanges” in the artificial intelligence field, and will “explore AI applications in domains such as healthcare, genomics and more”.

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