Is­raeli en­voy for green of­fice in UAE

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - WORLD -

JERUSALEM: Is­rael plans to open a diplo­matic-level mis­sion to the In­ter­na­tional Re­new­able En­ergy Agency in Abu Dhabi, its first openly es­tab­lished rep­re­sen­ta­tive of­fice in the United Arab Emi­rates, Is­raeli di­plo­mats said yes­ter­day.

The of­fice will not be a full mis­sion, but will con­sist of a diplo­mat as­signed to the re­new­able en­ergy agency, the first time an Is­raeli for­eign min­istry of­fi­cial is per­ma­nently sta­tioned in the Gulf state.

For­eign min­istry spokesman Em­manuel Nahshon con­firmed de­tails first re­ported in the Is­raeli daily Haaretz, and three diplo­matic of­fi­cials told Reuters the move was un­der way.

Is­rael does not have for­mal diplo­matic ties with most states in the Mid­dle East be­cause of the decades-old Is­raeli-Pales­tinian con­flict. Its only for­mal re­la­tions are with neigh­bours Egypt and Jor­dan.

But the nu­clear deal be­tween world pow­ers and Shia Mus­lim power Iran has caused dis­quiet in Is­rael and Sunni Arab states alike. Com­mon ground has emerged be­tween the two sides, even if they are cau­tious about draw­ing at­ten­tion to the links.

In re­cent years, Is­raeli of­fi­cials have met coun­ter­parts from Saudi Ara­bia and the Gulf at nu­clear non- pro­lif­er­a­tion talks in Switzer­land, gath­er­ings that the Is­raelis say have led to in­creased di­a­logue.

A del­e­ga­tion from Is­rael’s Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs vis­ited Irena’s of­fices in Abu Dhabi and met its di­rec­tor-gen­eral ear­lier in the week, a spokesper­son for Irena.

Un­der the terms of Irena’s “head­quar­ters agree­ment”, which es­tab­lishes its base in Abu Dhabi, all mem­bers have the right to send per­ma­nent mis­sions ac­cred­ited to the or­gan­i­sa­tion, the state­ment added. The UAE, as host coun­try, must fa­cil­i­tate. – Reuters

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