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Israel to Open Diplomatic Mission in UAE

FILE - The exterior of the Israeli Embassy in Athens, Greece. Israel is set to have its first diplomatic presence in the United Arab Emirates.

Israel will open a diplomatic mission to an intergovernmental organization in Abu Dhabi, officials announced Friday, in what will be the first open, official Israeli presence in the United Arab Emirates.

The Israeli mission to the International Renewable Energy Agency, or IRENA, is in the final stages of preparation, according to Israeli diplomats, confirming a Friday report in Israel's Haaretz newspaper.

UAE officials have not commented on the opening of the Israeli mission.

Israeli officials stressed the diplomatic post will be accredited solely to IRENA, and will not serve as a go-between for Israel and the UAE, which do not have official diplomatic relations.

Israel has not established formal diplomatic ties with any of its neighbors except Egypt and Jordan, though its diplomats have increasingly met behind the scenes and worked with Arab leaders in recent years.

Israel and some Arab nations have recently found more common interests on the international stage, especially after world powers reached a nuclear deal with Iran, which is considered a foe of many Arab states.