Israel relations

Bahrain’s first official government delegation heads to Israel on Gulf Air flight

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Bahrain's first official government delegation to Israel traveling on the first Gulf Air commercial flight to Tel Aviv landed in Israel on Wednesday as the two countries look to broaden cooperation after establishing formal ties in September.

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Gulf Air flight GF972 - a reference to Israel's country telephone code - took off from Manama airport Wednesday morning and landed at Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport about two hours later, according to a US official and flight tracking website FlightRadar24.

Bahrain's foreign minister, Abdullatif al-Zayani, was leading the delegation.

President Donald Trump's Middle East envoy, Avi Berkowitz, was also on the flight and was leading a US delegation to Bahrain and Israel, he said on Twitter.

Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates established formal ties with Israel in a US-brokered deal signed at the White House on September 15. Sudan has since said it would also formalize relations with Israel, a former foe.

The foreign minister's trip to Israel will coincide with a visit there by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. They will hold a three-way meeting with Netanyahu, two diplomats briefed on the planning said.

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