Isaac Herzog becomes first Israeli president to visit Bahrain

Israeli President Isaac Herzog visited Bahrain on the first trip by an Israeli head of state to the Gulf kingdom, following the normalisation of relations in 2020.

Herzog met with King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa and Crown Prince Sheikh Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa.

They discussed issues including regional security and “ways to encourage communication between the representatives of the private sector in the two countries”, the official Bahrain News Agency (BNA) said.

In 2020, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Morocco became the first Arab states in decades to normalise relations with Israel.

The Jewish state had earlier reached peace treaties with neighbouring Egypt and Jordan.

“I call on more states in our region to join this partnership, strengthening the Middle East,” said Herzog.

“The expanding circle of (Middle East) peace is highly important, especially amid threats to global and regional stability. In the face of hate, threats and terror, there is one answer: alliances with friends.”

Herzog said on Twitter he welcomed King Hamad’s “vision of peace, friendship and tolerance”.

“My visit underscores the importance Israel attaches to relations with Bahrain, including partnerships on defence, trade, tourism and environment,” he said.

In February of 2022, Israel signed a defence agreement with Bahrain, and Naftali Bennett became the first Israeli premier to visit the country.


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