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Israel inaugurates embassy in United Arab Emirates

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Israel inaugurates embassy in United Arab Emirates
UAE Foreign Affairs Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan (R) speaks with his Israeli counterpart, Yair Lapid, during their meeting in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on Tuesday. Photo courtesy of the Israeli Government Press Office/EPA-EFE

June 29 (UPI) -- Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid inaugurated the country's new embassy in the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday, calling for peace with the country's neighbors.

Lapid's visit to the UAE is the first by an Israeli Cabinet minister since Israel and the UAE normalized relations in September. The agreement between the two countries -- and Bahrain -- was brokered by the Trump administration and ended decades of conflict.

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"We are standing here today because we chose peace over war, cooperation over conflict, the good of our children over the bad memories of the past," Lapid told those in attendance.

"Agreements are signed by leaders but peace is made by people."

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Lapid thanked former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, former U.S. President Donald Trump and U.S. President Joe Biden for their support of the Abraham Accords.

"Israel wants peace with all its neighbors," he said.

Lapid met with UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan. The two discussed the desire for more Arab countries to join with the UAE, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco in normalizing relations with Israel. Lapid said they also talked about other regional issues and the United States' involvement in the Middle East.

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He told reporters the UAE wants peace between Israel and the Palestinians, but said "the Palestinians have to want progress themselves."

"Don't shoot 4,000 rockets at Israelis if you want to get help," Lapid said.

Fighting between Israeli and Hamas in Gaza left more than 250 people dead in Gaza and 13 dead in Israel in May.

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White House hosts signing of Abraham Accord

From left to right, Bahrain Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid al Zayani, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, U.S. President Donald Trump and United Arab Emirates' Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al Nahyan participate in the Abraham Accords signing ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House. Photo by Yuri Gripas/UPI | License Photo

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