Israel adds 3 diplo

Israel adds 3 diplomatic missions in one week

TEL AVIV (Axios): Israel opened three diplomatic missions in the Arab world this week, six months after the Abraham Accords were first launched.

Why it matters: The normalization process remains on track, regardless of the political changes in Washington.

Biden administration officials have refrained from using the term “Abraham Accords,” which was coined by the Trump administration. But they say they’re eager to continue working toward normalization agreements between Israel and more Arab countries.

Driving the news: On Sunday, Israel opened its embassy in Abu Dhabi — in temporary offices for now. The embassy will move to a permanent location in the next few months, and Israeli officials say it will be very big with representatives from many government agencies.

On Tuesday, Israel opened its consulate in Dubai, which is expected to focus on trade and tourism. 130,000 Israelis have visited Dubai since December.

The Emirati government approved this week the op-ening of an embassy in Tel Aviv. Israeli officials say that process has been slow-ed down by the COVID-19 lockdown in Israel.

The Israeli Embassy in Manama, Bahrain, was opened several weeks ago.

Also on Tuesday, Israel reopened its diplomatic mission in Rabat, 20 years after it was shut down. The Moroccans are expected to open their office in Tel Aviv in February.

Israel’s Cabinet approved an agreement on renewing diplomatic relations with Morocco on Sunday, and it will be approved by the Knesset next week.

Direct flights from Tel Aviv to Rabat are expected to begin in February.

What’s next: Netanyahu is expected to travel to the Gulf between Feb. 9–11, visiting Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Manama.

The trip could be postponed again if Israel’s lockdown is extended, but if it takes place, it will be the first official trip by an Israeli prime minister to the UAE and Bahrain.

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