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Israeli Team Heads to Bahrain for Talks on Bilateral Ties

2022-06-02 - 6:58 p

Bahrain Mirror: Foreign Ministry Director-General Alon Ushpiz flew to Bahrain on Wednesday for a series of talks on the growing bilateral relationship.

Ushpiz is leading an Israeli delegation that will take part in the second bilateral steering committee meeting between the two countries. The first meeting took place in Israel last August.

In Manama, Ushpiz is also slated to meet Bahrain's Foreign Minister Abullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani and Undersecretary for Political Affairs, Sheikh Abdulla Al Khalifa.

In a statement from the Foreign Ministry, Ushpiz said ties with Bahrain were "at the heart of Israel's diplomatic work. The roadmap for developing ties between the countries is being built step by step with practical measures that bear fruit for the benefit of both countries."

During Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's visit to Bahrain in February, the two sides agreed on a 10-year bilateral plan called "The Joint Warm Peace Strategy" to guide relations. The plan prioritizes innovation, food and water security, healthcare, trade and investment, and education. Bennett's February visit came two weeks after Benny Gantz became Israel's first defense minister to publicly visit the country. Gantz signed a memorandum of understanding with his Bahraini counterpart during the trip. According to Gantz's office, the memorandum of understanding "will help advance intelligence cooperation, a framework for exercises, and cooperation between the countries' defense industries."

Bahrain and Israel officially signed the Warm Peace plan during the Negev Summit in March. The unprecedented gathering was widely seen as an attempt by Israel and its Arab allies to create a front against shared regional foe Iran. Israeli officials told reporters on the scene that the talks centered around creating a "regional security architecture," among other issues.

Israel and Bahrain established full diplomatic relations in September 2020 as part of the US-brokered Abraham Accords, a series of diplomatic deals between the Jewish state and four Arab countries.

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