Israel is set to open its first diplomatic mission in Abu Dhabi, which is part of the United Arab Emirates.
The mission will not be a diplomatic representation to Abu Dhabi or the UAE, but to the UN’s International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), which is headquartered in the Gulf emirate, Haaretz reported on Friday.
Foreign Ministry Director General Dore Gold was in the UAE this week to attend an IRENA gathering, but remained three days in the country to meet with IRENA director Adnan Amin and finalize the details of the new mission.
The Israeli diplomat who will hold the new post, Rami Hatan, is preparing to leave for Abu Dhabi in the coming weeks, a ministry source told Haaretz. Offices for the new mission have already been chosen.
Israel’s mission to IRENA will be the only one among the agency’s 145 member states with a diplomatic presence in Abu Dhabi formally defined as a mission to IRENA alone, and not to the emirate or UAE. Sources suggest the Israeli mission will serve the latter role informally.
The Foreign Ministry decided to open the special mission to IRENA because it meant having a public, official diplomatic presence in an Arab state without formal diplomatic relations with Israel. One official described it as a “diplomatic breakthrough.”
In January 2009, Israel cast its vote for Abu Dhabi as the site of IRENA’s headquarters (over rival contender Germany) with the explicit condition that IRENA’s presence in the Gulf state would allow Israel to open an official, publicly acknowledged diplomatic office there.
The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.
We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.
Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.