SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 16 July 2024, Tuesday |

Bahrain and Israel agree to boost trade ties

Israel’s foreign minister agreed Monday with his Bahraini counterpart to boost trade relations, during his first visit to one of the two Gulf Arab states to establish ties with Israel.

“The foreign minister and I agreed that we should work together to increase the number of direct flights, the tourism, the trade volume, the investment,” Eli Cohen said during a ceremony to inaugurate Israel’s new embassy.

The embassy in the capital Manama will replace the first embassy Israel opened in 2021, a year after it established diplomatic relations with Bahrain as part of the US-brokered Abraham Accords.

Under the accords, Israel also established ties with the United Arab Emirates and Morocco.

Monday’s ceremony was attended by Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al Zayani, who said the “new embassy assumes a pivotal role” in growing collaboration between the two countries.

Al Zayani said his talks with Cohen on Monday resulted in an agreement on advancing “relations across the broadest range of fields, including, economic, investment, trade and other areas.”

Cohen arrived in Bahrain on Sunday, accompanied by a business delegation of more than 30 companies working in high-tech, logistics and real estate.

Earlier on Monday, he met Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa and discussed “the importance of advancing a free trade agreement and projects to connect youths in Israel and Bahrain”, Cohen posted on X, formerly Twitter.

Despite now having steady ties with Israel, Bahrain and the UAE have joined other Gulf Arab states in issuing a series of condemnations against it this year.

Raids on the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem and the Jenin Palestinian refugee camp in the occupied West Bank were among Israeli moves that sparked a Gulf outcry.

In Bahrain, Cohen also visited the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet base where he discussed maritime security cooperation, according to a statement by US Naval Forces Central Command (NAVCENT).

The visit “underscores our expanding partnership with Israel”, NAVCENT commander Vice-Admiral Brad Cooper was quoted as saying.

    Source:
  • Asharq Al-Awsat