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Israeli Prime Minister Lands in Bahrain in First Visit

Israel has stepped up cooperation with the Gulf states.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett chairs the weekly cabinet meeting at the prime minister's office in Jerusalem February 13, 2022. Menahem Kahana/Pool via REUTERS
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett chairs the weekly cabinet meeting at the prime minister’s office in Jerusalem February 13, 2022. Menahem Kahana/Pool via REUTERS

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett arrived in Bahrain’s capital Manama on Monday in the highest-level visit since the countries established relations under a 2020 U.S.-sponsored deal based in part on shared worries about Iran.

Bennett will meet with Bahraini Crown Prince and Prime Minister Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa, his office said.

“The leaders will discuss additional ways to strengthen bilateral ties … especially the advancement of diplomatic and economic issues, with an emphasis on technology and innovation,” it said in a statement.

The two-day trip to Bahrain, home to the U.S. Navy’s Gulf headquarters, comes amid heightened tensions after missile attacks on the neighbouring United Arab Emirates by Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthis. Israel also normalised ties with the UAE in 2020.

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