A Foreign Ministry source "categorically denied reports carried by some Israeli newspapers in recent days about the opening of an Israeli representative office in Dubai", the official WAM news agency reported on Sunday.

The UAE "is fully committed to the Arab peace initiative announced at the Beirut and Algiers summits (in 2002 and March this year) which links any normalisation of ties with Israel with recognition of the Palestinian people's legitimate rights, including their right to the establishment of an independent state with holy Jerusalem as its capital", the source said.

The Israeli daily Haaretz said on Sunday that Israel had recently opened "a secret diplomatic mission" whose diplomats were being presented as businessmen in Dubai, one of seven emirates making up the UAE federation.
 
The newspaper said three Israeli diplomats carrying foreign passports had arrived in Dubai to handle the mission.

Haaretz said the opening of the mission in Dubai "was the culmination of a series of elaborate contacts Israel has been developing with the United Arab Emirates for years".

Israel has established diplomatic relations, at the level of ambassador, with Egypt, Jordan and Mauritania.