Israel Gulf Report
First UAE ambassador to Israel sworn in
Updated: Feb 18, 2021
The UAE announced that it had sworn in its new and first ambassador to Israel on February 14.
Mohamed Alkhaja (Mohammed Mahmoud al-Khaja) is currently chief of staff to Abdullah bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the United Arab Emirates. He has been chief of staff for the last ten years, sources said. He. is forty years old and had a background in energy prior to work at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He attended higher education in the US and has an MBA. Close the the senior leadership and having attended a senior position already, he is seen as an excellent choice for ambassador to Israel.
Former US envoy Avi Berkowitz praised the news: "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."
News reports noted that he was sworn in as the first ambassador of the UAE to Israel in front of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Prime Minister of the Emirates and Ruler of Dubai. WAM (Emirates News Agency) noted that it occurred as two ambassador's credentials were received. "His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, received the credentials of the ambassadors of the Republic of Dominican and Islamic Republic of Pakistan to the UAE, at Qasr Al Watan Palace...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."
Furthermore, "the ambassador vowed to respect the UAE’s constitution and laws, work sincerely to prioritise the Emirates’ interests, and keep the State secrets while performing his diplomatic tasks. 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."
The report noted that "attending were a number of ministers, and senior officials from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and Presidential Affairs."
Many welcomed the announcement online. It comes six months after the announcement of the Abraham Accords.
Read more at The National.
The Ambassador's name in Arabic is spelled: محمد محمود آل خاجة
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