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Israeli Foreign Minister Cohen in Bahrain for the first time

Israeli Foreign Minister Cohen in Bahrain for the first time

Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen visits Bahrain for the first time. A spokesman confirmed he had arrived in the Gulf state on Sunday evening. This was Cohen’s first visit to one of the Gulf countries that signed rapprochement agreements with Israel in 2020. Cohen will meet his counterpart Abdul Latif Al-Sajani, officially open the Israeli embassy in its permanent headquarters in Manama, and sign several agreements between the two countries.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry said he would be accompanied by Israeli businessmen on his trip, which is scheduled to last until Tuesday. The aim is to boost trade between countries and investments.

A planned visit by Cohen to Bahrain was canceled in July due to media reports due to a controversial visit by Police Minister Itamar Ben Gvir to the Temple Mount (Haram al-Sharif) in Jerusalem.

The visit comes a week after Cohen’s diplomatic failure. Violent protests erupted in Libya after the Israeli Foreign Ministry announced that Cohen would meet Libyan Foreign Minister Naglaa al-Mangoush. According to media reports, Al-Mangoush has been arrested.

And in September 2020, Israel agreed, with US mediation, to establish diplomatic relations with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. Morocco and Sudan also announced such steps afterwards. Previously, only two Arab states – Egypt and Jordan – maintained relations with Israel.

The Israeli Prime Minister at the time, Naftali Bennett, visited Bahrain last year. Former Foreign Minister Yair Lapid opened the Israeli embassy in its temporary location in September 2021.