Bahrains head of diplomacy in Israel for the first time

Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdellatif al-Zayani will make an official visit to Israel for the first time on Wednesday, following an agreement to normalize relations between the Gulf monarchy and the Hebrew state, the official news agency announced Monday

Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates were the first Gulf countries to conclude such agreements with Israel in September, an initiative described as โ€œtreasonโ€ by the Palestinians, since the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was hitherto seen as a sine qua non for normalization between Israel and the Arab States.

โ€œA high-ranking Bahraini delegation headed by Foreign Minister Abdellatif al-Zayani is travelling to Tel Aviv on Wednesday 18 November 2020 for an official visit,โ€ said Bahraini news agency BNA.

The visit is intended both to โ€œaffirm Bahrains firm and permanent position in support of the peace processโ€ and โ€œhighlight economic opportunities and bilateral agreements with Israelโ€, she added.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is also scheduled to visit Israel next week.

Arab monarchy in the Gulf where the 5th American fleet sits, the small Kingdom of Bahrain became the fourth Arab country to normalize its relations with Israel, after the Emirates, Egypt โ€” in 1979 โ€” and Jordan โ€” in 1994.

In recent years, Israel has moved closer to the Arab Gulf countries, all allies of the United States, and particularly those like Bahrain and the Emirates that share the same enmity towards Iran.

Normalization of relations with the Hebrew state is also seen as an economic opportunity for oil-dependent Gulf monarchies who want to develop other sectors, including technology.