The new United Arab Emirates’ Ambassador to Israel Mohammad Mahmoud Al Khajah will arrive to take up his post on Monday, five months after the two nations signed an historic treaty to normalize relations.
The appointment of Al Khajah, who is both a high-ranking diplomat and a member of the UAE royal family, is seen in Jerusalem as a sign of the great importance the Emiratis attribute to their new relationship with Israel.
Pending a negative coronavirus test, Al Khajah will go to the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem to submit his credentials to the ministry’s director-general before meeting with Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi.
Later, Al Khajah will meet with President Reuven Rivlin ahead of a ceremony celebrating the arrival of the first-ever UAE ambassador to Israel.
The ceremony will include an IDF honorary parade, as well as a military orchestra that will play both the Emirati and Israeli national anthems.
On Tuesday, the new ambassador is expected to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem.
On Friday, Al Khajah wrote on Twitter: “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.”
Al Khajah will then join the United Arab Emirates' foreign ministry delegation that has been in Israel for two weeks in order to find potential assets to be used by the embassy, including the house in which the ambassador will stay with his family.
The new ambassador is expected to return to his country at the weekend and will return to Israel only after the embassy is officially established.
The embassy is expected to formally open after Passover, which begins March 27.