King Hamad Discussed with Lapid Various Security Issues, Including Iranian Drones
2021-10-03 - 2:01 am
Bahrain Mirror: Sources told Haaretz that Israel and Bahrain are looking into cooperation in responding to Iranian drone attacks, according to a report published by the newspaper on October 1, 2021.
Security issues, including the Iranian threat, occupied much of the meeting between the Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and the King of Bahrain. According to a source familiar with the content of the meeting, the king showed great knowledge of the formation of the government in Israel. The source added that a meeting between the king and the foreign minister of a foreign country is unusual and that both sides discussed economic issues.
The goodwill gestures shown by the King, Crown Prince and Bahraini Foreign Minister toward Lapid reveal Bahrain's desire to develop relations with Israel, according to a political source.
Lapid, first Israeli minister to visit Bahrain since establishment of ties between the two countries, met with King of Bahrain, Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, and the Crown Prince and Prime Minister, Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa.
The Israeli Foreign Minister and his Bahraini counterpart Abdulatif Al-Zayani also visited the US warship Pearl Harbor. They hosted the US Navy official, Brad Cooper, and US chargé d'affaires Maggie Nardi. An Israeli official called it "an important strategic event."
In a joint press conference with his Bahraini counterpart, Lapid said "We live in a global reality in which those who are isolated will disappear. Those who cooperate will lead both the world and the Middle East. Bahrain, like Israel, contains ancient history and extraordinary capabilities. Our common, our threats are common, and they are not far from here."
The Foreign Minister didn't directly tackle the Iranian case in the press conference, however, a senior Bahraini official said-according to Haaretz- that "No one is suffering from Iranians more than us".
Lapid arrived in Bahrain on a charter flight on an IsraAir plane that had the word "peace" printed on it. According to a source familiar with the talks, "there is an effort to find a "green corridor" that would allow Bahraini tourists to enter Israel, despite the fact that they took vaccinations that are not recognized in Israel. Tel Aviv is not expected to recognize these vaccinations."
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken revealed two weeks ago that Israel and Bahrain have recognized vaccine passports from the other country, so the vaccinated visitors from both states are exempted from quarantine when entering the country.
Bahraini Undersecretary for Political Affairs, Sheikh Abdulla bin Ahmed bin Abdulla Al Khalifa, publicly criticized Iran harshly during his visit to Israel in August. "Speaking from a Bahraini perspective and the experience of my country with Iran, is continuous interference in domestic affairs in my country," he said. "If you look into the crises across the Middle East, you will find one red thread that would go across all those crises, you would find an Iranian finger."