Israeli embassy opens in Bahrain, a milestone in diplomatic relations

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Israel officially opened its embassy in Bahrain on Monday, three years after both sides normalized ties and as Washington presses Riyadh for a similar deal that would be Israel’s biggest diplomatic win in the region.

Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen attended an official ceremony for the opening of the diplomatic mission during a visit to Bahrain which included a delegation of businessmen and government officials.

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“The (Bahrain) foreign minister and I agreed that we should work together to increase the number of direct flights, the tourism, the trade volume, the investments,” Cohen said during the ceremony.

Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al Zayani said the inauguration of the embassy “signifies our shared commitment to security and prosperity for all the peoples of our region”.

The normalization deal between Bahrain and Israel was part of a series of agreements, known as the Abraham Accords, which were also signed with the United Arab Emirates, Morocco and Sudan.

The opening of the Israeli embassy in Bahrain came as the United States is pressing its traditional ally Riyadh to sign a similar deal for Saudi Arabia, a Muslim powerhouse and home to Islam’s holiest shrines.

However, Riyadh has so far resisted US pressure and linked the move to the creation of a Palestinian state as part of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, along with other demands.

With Reuters

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