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Lapid in Manama to Open Israeli Embassy, Describes His Meeting with King as "Historic"

2021-10-01 - 2:31 am

Bahrain Mirror: Amid anti-normalization protests, Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid met with King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and other prominent officials, as part of an official visit to inaugurate the Israeli Embassy in the Bahraini capital, Manama.

Lapid described in a tweet his meeting with the King as "historic, warm and hopeful".

The Israeli minister said that this meeting outlines the path forward for relationships and added a photo of him with the King after meeting a number of officials there.

Earlier today, Lapid met with the Bahraini Crown Prince and Prime Minister, Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, and Bahraini Foreign Minister, Abdullatif Al-Zayani.

The visit of the Israeli Minister to Manama coincides with the operation of the Bahraini Gulf Air company a shipping line to Tel Aviv.

Today, the first direct commercial flight between Bahrain and Israel took off, and the Gulf Air plane took off from Manama Airport, an hour after the arrival of the Israeli Foreign Minister Lapid. The plane landed at Ben Gurion airport near Tel Aviv.

An Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesperson said five memorandums of understanding will be signed, including cooperation agreements between hospitals and water and power companies.

"The main areas in which Bahrain is looking for cooperation have to do with the economy and technology, and a few of the MOUs that will be signed (on Thursday) will be about that," the spokesperson said, without elaborating.

He said 12 memorandums of understanding have been signed so far between the two countries, among them deals relating to transportation, agriculture, communication and finance.

The UAE and Bahrain signed agreements to normalize relations with Israel in mid-September 2020 at an official ceremony hosted by the White House.

Israel then normalized relations with Morocco and Sudan, accords that also sparked Palestinian protests.

Relations between Israel and its new Gulf partners have expanded since the signing of the agreements to include direct flight exchanges, economic and other deals.

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