Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be visiting Bahrain “soon”, his office said on Friday.
Hani Marzouk, a spokesman for the Prime Minister’s office for Arab media said:
“The Kingdom of Bahrain is the next destination for Netanyahu … This visit is only a prelude for something bigger, for another Middle East.”
— Press TV (@PressTV) November 23, 2018
The visit “is the start for new relations and an indication that we are on the right track to correct history,” he said.
On Tuesday the Israel Broadcasting Corporation‘s Arabic-language service announced Israeli authorities were in talks with “an Arab state” to host Netanyahu on an official visit.
It followed the prime minister’s surprise visit to the Gulf sultanate of Oman last month – the first in 22 years by an Israeli leader.
In 'prelude for something bigger,' Israel's Netanyahu to visit Bahrain next, after Israeli press says Saudi Arabia played key role in opening doors to Oman and Bahrain. https://t.co/ezREmblD3g
— Shibley Telhami (@ShibleyTelhami) November 23, 2018
It took place despite the two nations having no diplomatic ties.
Following Netanyahu’s visit, Israeli ministers visited the UAE and Oman.
Israel currently has full diplomatic relations with only Egypt and Jordan, but the trips are the latest sign of growing regional ties between Israel and the Arab States.
Moving closer to Gulf, Bahrain becomes Netanyahu's next target https://t.co/gA7lIz0vIm
— DAILY SABAH (@DailySabah) November 24, 2018
Israel and some Gulf States – notably Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Bahrain – have a shared interest in curbing Iran’s influence in the region and cooperate on intelligence gathering.
In the past two years, a series of reports of covert meetings between Israeli and Saudi officials give an impression of a rapprochement between the two states.
Palestinian officials strongly condemned Oman for hosting Netanyahu in a surprise visit, saying it was a betrayal of the Palestinian people who still live under brutal Israeli occupation in Gaza and the West Bank.
(Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, PC, Social Media)