Due to the closure of Israel’s Ben-Gurion International Airport, it is currently unclear when Ambassador Mohammad Mahmoud Al Khajah will be able to take up his post.
The United Arab Emirates on Sunday swore in the country’s first-ever ambassador to Israel.
Ambassador Mohammad Mahmoud Al Khajah was installed in an official ceremony in Abu Dhabi, in the presence of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice-president and prime minister of the UAE and ruler of Dubai, said the Dubai Media Office, which tweeted out the event.
Al Maktoum wished Al Khajah much success and urged him to work to achieve friendly and cooperative relations with Israel. Al Khajah pledged to carry out his job with integrity and sincerity, reported Gulf News.
A number of ministers, senior sheikhs and other officials attended the event.
Due to COVID-19 travel restrictions and the closure of Israel’s Ben-Gurion International Airport, it is unknown when Al Khajah will be able to assume his post.
On Sept. 15, 2020, Israel and the UAE signed the Abraham Accords, an historic normalization agreement brokered by the Trump administration. Bahrain signed the accords at the same time. Before former President Trump left office, normalization agreements were also signed between Israel and Sudan and Morocco.
Avi Berkowitz, Special Representative for International Negotiations under Trump and a key figure on the U.S. team that brokered the accords, took to Twitter to share his elation at watching the UAE’s ambassador to Tel Aviv being sworn in.
It’s hard to express the joy this brings to me and the team – led by President Trump and Jared Kushner – that worked on the Abraham Accords – thank you to the UAE for leading the way. https://t.co/lseqvBApol
— Avi Berkowitz (@AviBerkow) February 14, 2021
The UAE Cabinet approved the assignment of an ambassador to Israel on Jan. 24. The same day, Israel’s Foreign Ministry announced the opening of an official diplomatic mission in Abu Dhabi, with Israel’s ambassador to Turkey, Eitan Na’eh, appointed to head the temporary mission until a permanent ambassador is appointed.