MANAMA and TEL AVIV – Following his official visit to Israel, Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdul Latif al-Zayani, his U.S. counterpart Mike Pompeo and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a joint press conference in which they stressed the importance of the recent peace agreement between Manama and Tel Aviv.
Zayani said he would discuss with Netanyahu and Pompeo ways to implement the Abraham agreement and cooperate with Israel in the areas of trade, investment, health, and education. Zayani also announced that an agreement had been reached with his Israeli counterpart, Gabi Ashkenazi, to open embassies in the two countries.
Zayani invited Israeli officials to visit Bahrain early next month.
For his part, Netanyahu noted the importance of the role of the Trump Administration in normalization between Israel, Bahrain, and other Arab countries. He praised Zayani’s visit to Israel, which he described as another cornerstone of bilateral and regional peace and noted that peace between the two countries was based on a solid foundation of shared values and interests.
Pompeo noted the role played by the Israeli-Arab agreement in weakening Iran’s influence in the region and increasing its isolation. He firmly stated that Iran’s position would remain the same unless it changed its pernicious approach.
Zayani’s visit comes at a time when the Palestinian Authority has confirmed its desire to return to peace negotiations with Israel, following the latter’s retreat from the peace talks. In addition, a senior Palestinian official told Reuters that his government is in the process of returning its ambassadors to the UAE and Bahrain after it recalled them after the countries signed the peace agreement with Israel.