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Israeli Foreign Minister Lapid opens embassy in Bahrain, signs agreements

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Israel’s top diplomat Yair Lapid opened his country's embassy in Bahrain on Thursday, a year after the US-brokered normalization of ties.

“We have officially opened the Israeli embassy in Bahrain,” tweeted Lapid.

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“We agreed that by the end of the year, there will be the opening of the Bahraini embassy in Israel.”

Lapid, who landed at Bahrain’s international airport in an Israir plane with an olive branch painted on its nose, met Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and Crown Prince and Prime Minister Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa.

He also held talks with his Bahraini counterpart Dr. Abdullatif al-Zayani.

“His Majesty’s leadership and inspiration have led to true cooperation and our meeting outlined the path forward for our relationship,” Lapid said on Twitter after meeting the king.

Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates normalized relations with Israel last year in a US-brokered deal known as the Abraham Accords that built on shared business interests and worries about Iran.

Sudan and Morocco followed suit.

“We see Bahrain as an important partner, on the bilateral level but also as a bridge to cooperate with other countries in the region,” an Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesperson said.

The two countries signed five memorandums of understanding, including cooperation agreements between hospitals and water and power companies.

Bahrain’s Gulf Air made its first direct commercial flight to Tel Aviv late Thursday.

Read more:

Bahrain’s Jewish community welcomes ‘historic’ visit of Israeli FM Lapid

Abraham Accords: A year of business ties between UAE, Israel, Bahrain, experts