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“Israel” opens virtual embassy to GCC countries on Twitter

Al Ahed news

“Israel” has followed the path of United States foreign policy on the Middle East, by opening a “virtual embassy” called “Israel” in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) on twitter.

The “Israeli” foreign ministry has launched the Twitter account, describing itself as the official channel of the “virtual “Israeli” embassy to GCC countries” and encourages its followers to leave comments.

The account is dedicated to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Kuwait and Bahrain; and it’s aimed at promoting dialogue with the citizens of these countries.
The move is part of “Israel’s” strategies to get closer to Arab countries after an unsuccessful experience with diplomatic offices in Oman and Qatar.

It was obliged to close its offices in these two countries in 2000 and 2009 respectively after escalating tensions between the “Israel” entity and Palestine.
A proficient diplomat with a vast diplomatic experience with Gulf diplomatic relations, Gary Koren, brought “Israel’s” virtual approach forward.

The virtual embassy could also serve as a way of avoiding diplomatic tussles with Arab countries. “Israel” has lately opened a diplomatic office in one of the Arab countries in the Middle East about 18 months ago, but has never named country. Nevertheless, expenses regarding the office have been featured in the Finance Ministry’s 2013-14 economic plans.

The foreign ministry doesn’t entertain discussing the subject.
The US is one of the first countries to use virtual embassies, some years ago, for Iran and Syria. It used these embassies to rally information and policies to the citizens of these two countries in Farsi and Arab respectively.

“Israeli” exports to the GCC are now worth about $500m per year, although all are made through third party countries making them difficult to track, according to Yitzhak Gal, professor of political economy at Tel Aviv University. “We decided [the virtual embassy] would be a very good tool to engage in a dialogue with people from the GCC,” said Yigal Palmor, a spokesman for the foreign ministry and one of those running the Twitter account.

“Our hope is to reach out and open lines of dialogue #KSA #Oman #Bahrain #UAE #Qatar #Kuwait,” was one of the tweets made by the “Israeli” account. It has already made four tweets.

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