Netanyahu Postpones Official Visits to Bahrain, UAE

Noa Landau
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Benjamin Netanyahu looks on during a news conference with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Bahrain's Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al Zayani during their meeting in Jerusalem, November 18, 2020.
Benjamin Netanyahu looks on during a news conference with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Bahrain's Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al Zayani during their meeting in Jerusalem, November 18, 2020.Credit: POOL/ REUTERS
Noa Landau

Benjamin Netanyahu will not visit Bahrain next week, after a visit to the United Arab Emirates was also cancelled due to national holiday celebrations.

An official visit by Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, who was meant to attend a regional conference, was also cancelled. Official visits by Netanyahu and Ashkenazi will likely take place in the middle of December.

On Tuesday, Netanyahu said that he had a "very friendly" conversation on Monday with Bahraini Crown Prince Salman Hamad bin Khalifa and said he would visit Manama "in the near future."

This was the second conversation Netanyahu has had with Bin Khalifa since the two countries signed a U.S.-brokered peace deal on September 15.  

Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Abdullatif al-Zayani led a delegation to Israel for a one-day visit earlier this month, during which he called for renewing negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, based on a two-state solution, stressing: “The Palestinian-Israeli conflict must be solved.”

According to Israeli sources, Netanyahu and Mossad chief Yossi Cohen flew to Saudi Arabia last Tuesday and met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

A senior Saudi official with knowledge of the meeting told the Wall Street Journal that the parties talked for about two hours about normalization between the countries and about Iran, but did not come to any agreements.

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