Netanyahu Says He Will Make Official Visit to Bahrain Soon

The prime minister, who was reported to have made secret visit to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, says he had a 'very friendly' conversation with the Bahraini leader

Noa Landau
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
Noa Landau

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday morning that he would make an official visit to Bahrain "in the near future."

In a video announcement made available on social media, Netanyahu said that he had a "very friendly" conversation on Monday with Bahraini Crown Prince Salman Hamad bin Khalifa. The conversation focused on strengthening ties between the two countries.

"We are both very excited to bring the fruits of peace to our people, and our countries," Netanyahu said. "He also invited me to come on an official visit to Bahrain in the near future. I will do so gladly," he added.

This is 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.”

He pledged that Bahrain and Israel would cooperate on several areas, and namely, trade, investment, tourism, and banking. The agreement with Israel “will pave the way for a dawn of peace for the entire region,” he said.

According to Israeli sources, Netanyahu and Mossad chief Yossi Cohen flew to Saudi Arabia on 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. The Prime Minister's Office did not respond to requests for comment, but Netanyahu's aide Topaz Luk later tweeted that "Gantz is doing politics while the prime minister is making peace."

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