Bahrain FM Speaks to Israeli Journalists: Israel Part of Middle East's Heritage

The Bahraini foreign minister also voiced support for Israeli strikes against Iranian targets in neighboring Syria, saying 'every country has a right to defend itself'

Bahrain FM speaks to Israeli journalists: Israel part of Middle East's heritage
Screen shot / Channel 13

MANAMA, Bahrain — Bahrain's foreign minister has given unprecedented interviews to Israeli journalists, calling for open communication with the Jewish state and voicing support for the two-state solution.

Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa spoke to Israeli channels 13 and 11, as well as the Times of Israel, on the sidelines of the Trump administration's Mideast peace conference in Manama.

Al Khalifa says that "Israel is part of this heritage of this whole region, historically. So, the Jewish people have a place amongst us."

Full transcript of Al Khalifa's television interview

Al Khalifa also spoke to Israeli journalists at the Manama confernce, saying that he would like to convey a message "to everyone": The conference is "an opportunity not to be missed," he told Israel's Channel 11 Kan. 

"If Camp David and the late President Anwar Sadat were game changers for the events of that day, I think that if we take this seriously this could be a very important game changer." 

Asked whether he believed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict could be resolved, he answered: "We need to see a two-state solution. As Israelis have a country in their region and the citizens enjoy their own citizenship in their country, we need to see a Palestinian country with Palestinians enjoying their own citizenship." He added, however, that establishing a Palestinian state must precede any visit to Israel.

The Bahraini foreign minister also voiced support for Israeli strikes against Iranian targets in neighboring Syria, saying "every country has a right to defend itself." He called Iran a "major threat to the stability and the security of the region," and said Iran's support for militant groups have hindered Arab-Israeli peace efforts.

The Associated Press contributed to this report