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Israeli foreign minister heads to Bahrain

Eli Cohen will inaugurate the permanent home of the Israeli embassy in Manama.

Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen seen during an interview at the ministry in Jerusalem, June 12, 2023. Photo by Yossi Aloni/Flash90.
Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen seen during an interview at the ministry in Jerusalem, June 12, 2023. Photo by Yossi Aloni/Flash90.

Foreign Minister Eli Cohen left on Sunday for a diplomatic visit to the Kingdom of Bahrain. It is his first visit since taking up his post to one of the countries of the Abraham Accords.

Cohen is leading a political and commercial delegation that will participate in activities to promote trade and investment between the countries, Israel’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

He plans to meet with Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al Zayani on Monday.

In addition, Cohen will inaugurate the permanent home of the Israeli embassy in Manama and sign a number of Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) between Israel and Bahrain.

An earlier trip by Cohen to Bahrain scheduled for the first week of August was canceled by the Gulf state in protest of a visit in late July by National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, the holiest site in Judaism and the third-holiest site in Islam.

Ben-Gvir visited the Temple Mount in observance of Tisha B’Av, an annual fast day commemorating the destruction of the First and Second Temples that stood on the mount.

Bahrain joined the United Arab Emirates in signing the Abraham Accords with Israel on Sept. 15, 2020.

Al-Zayani said at the White House signing three years ago: “The declaration supporting peace between the Kingdom of Bahrain and the State of Israel is a historic step on the road to genuine and lasting peace, security and prosperity across the region, and for all who live there, regardless of religion, sect, ethnicity or ideology.”

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