In his first interview with an Israeli media outlet, Bahraini Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa said on Wednesday that Israel is “part of the heritage of the Middle East” and that Jews have “a place amongst us.”

“Israel is part of this heritage of this whole region, historically, so the Jewish people have a place amongst us,” Al-Khalifa told Israel’s Channel 13 on the sidelines during the June 25-26 “Peace to Prosperity Workshop” in the Bahraini capital of Manama, which jump-started the Trump administration’s Mideast peace plan.

“That’s why it’s so important,” he said, “and we didn’t want to miss this opportunity, and I want to tell them we should talk.”

In response to the Palestinian Authority skipping the summit, Khalifa said, “It’s always a mistake to miss an opportunity to achieve peace.”

Israel has recently improved ties with Bahrain.

Ahead of the workshop, the Trump administration released a 40-page document on Saturday detailing a $50 billion, 10-year investment plan for the Palestinian Authority, Jordan, Egypt and Lebanon.