By: Aryeh Savir
Israeli and American delegations left Tel Aviv and arrived in Bahrain on Sunday, a historic visit by an Israeli delegation to the Gulf country following the signing of the Abraham Accords last month, and the first-ever commercial flight from Israel to Bahrain.
The delegation of senior Israeli government officials, led by National Security Council head Meir Ben-Shabbat and US Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin, arrived in Manama to sign agreements promoting relations between the two countries, including a joint declaration on the formation of diplomatic ties between Israel and Bahrain.
Working groups will be held on finance and investments, trade and economy, tourism, aviation, communications, culture, science, technology, and agriculture.
“Bahrain and Israel will sign a Joint Communique on the establishment of diplomatic, peaceful and friendly relations, as well as a number of Memorandums of Understanding in areas of mutual benefit,” Bahrain’s official BNA news agency reported.
“I am very excited to be in Israel. Today we will head directly to Bahrain on the first-ever commercial flight,” tweeted Avi Berkowitz, Assistant to President Donald Trump and Special Representative for International Negotiations.
Prior to departure from Ben Gurion Airport, Ben Shabbat stated that he is “excited and proud” to head the Israeli delegation to Bahrain.
“We are leaving for the talks to translate the peace declaration that was signed on the White House lawn into practical plans and concrete agreements,” he stated.
“We are excited and together we will pray that God will lead us to peace and that we may reach our destination for good life and peace,” he added.
“The region is moving forward, to peace, prosperity and cooperation,” stated Israel’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Alon Ushpiz.
“This new era of peace and cooperation will bring further prosperity to the peoples of the Kingdom of Bahrain and the State of Israel,” BNA stated upon the arrival of the delegation in the country.
Israel, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain signed a historic peace agreement at the White House on September 15, the first agreement to be signed between Israel and an Arab country in 25 years.
The UAE was the first major Arab state to recognize Israel since the Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty was signed in October 1994.
Announced on August 13, the Abraham Accords is the first between a Gulf state and Israel and is expected to lead to similar agreements with other Arab countries, possibly Oman or Saudi Arabia.