Israeli Tourism Minister Orit Farkash-Hacohen and her Bahraini counterpart Zayed bin Rashid Al Zayani signed a historic Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at a ceremony in Jerusalem on Wednesday.

According to Farkash-Hacohen, the MoU, which deals with tourism, provides the framework to turn ideas into plans into packages.

“Together, we can create packages for regional tourism, offering tourists from Brazil, China or Australia or the Philippines to visit both our countries,” she said.

At the ceremony, Al Zayani said that he and his 40-member delegation, which arrived in Israel on Tuesday, were returning to Bahrain “with lots of hope and ambition that we will forge the peace signed by our leadership, so it transmits to every Israeli and every Bahraini citizen.”

The MOU, the first of its kind between Israel and an Arab Gulf state, includes a number of sections on bilateral cooperation between the governments and the private sector in the field of tourism, and calls to develop various types of travel: for families, wellness, business and others. Additionally, it establishes a joint committee headed by the ministers, which will meet regularly to promote joint ventures of travel agents, airlines, tour operators and all relevant industry representatives.

Farkash-Hacoen said that she would work to open up travel for tourists from Bahrain as soon as possible, and stated: “Governments sign treaties, but people create peace. This is why signing a bilateral tourism MOU is so important. We are encouraging travel between our countries. We are encouraging people to meet and interact with each other. We are connecting two cultures. By doing so, we are encouraging true and lasting peace.”

Al Zayani said Israel would find Bahrain to be a “true partner, a genuine investor and a frank friend.”

“We invite you and welcome you to use Bahrain as a springboard to the rest of the world, and look forward to using Israel as a springboard for us to the rest of the world,” he said.


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