Bahrain and Israel cemented their diplomatic agreement with a visit to Tel Aviv on Wednesday by a top Bahraini official.
The Bahraini foreign minister Abdullatif al-Zayani arrived in Israel on his first official visit to the country since the small Arab nation established diplomatic ties with Tel Aviv in September, Israeli media reported.
The Israeli Jerusalem Post reported that al-Zayani arrived on the first commercial flight to Israel on board of Bahrain’s flag carrier Gulf Air.
#UPDATE Bahrain's foreign minister has arrived in Israel on the first official visit from the Gulf kingdom, which normalised relations with the Jewish state in Septemberhttps://t.co/9W97UmL90c pic.twitter.com/L3ZIzHSHWM
— AFP News Agency (@AFP) November 18, 2020
Joining the Bahraini officials was an American delegation headed by Washington’s envoy in the Middle East, Avi Berkowitz.
At the headquarters of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jerusalem, al-Zayani said he “submitted an official request to the Israeli government to open an embassy in Israel,” Anadolu news agency reported.
The Bahraini government has also agreed to the Israeli request to open an embassy in the Bahraini capital Manama.
#Bahrain's 1st official government delegation, headed by Foreign Minister Dr Abdullatif Al-Zayani arrives in #Israel on the 1st historic @GulfAir commercial flight GF972. During the visit, 🇧🇭 & 🇮🇱 will look into further enhancing bilateral cooperation in various fields. pic.twitter.com/ilNlxXSDCB
— Bahrain Embassy UK (@BahrainEmbUK) November 18, 2020
“We agreed in our talks to open an Israeli embassy in Manama and a Bahraini embassy in Israel as soon as possible, and I hope that we can celebrate their opening by the end of the year,” Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi said.
“I promise you to come to Manama in the near future and we will continue constructive discussions that we started today, and we will continue to strengthen relations between our countries and our peoples,” the Israeli minister was also quoted as saying.
— The Palestine Chronicle (@PalestineChron) November 15, 2020
Addressing the Bahraini delegation, Ashkenazi said: “We are more than just friends, we are also partners who share a vision, purpose and commitment.”
On September 15, both small Gulf countries Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates agreed to establish full diplomatic, cultural and commercial relations with Israel after signing controversial agreements at the White House.
“The deals have drawn widespread condemnation from Palestinians, who say the accords ignore their rights and do not serve their cause,” Anadolu reported.
(The Palestine Chronicle)