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World

Israeli president touts business ties on first Bahrain visit

Published December 4, 2022
<p>Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa (R) meets with Israeli President Isaac Herzog in the capital Manama, on December 4, 2022. PHOTO: AFP</p>

Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa (R) meets with Israeli President Isaac Herzog in the capital Manama, on December 4, 2022. PHOTO: AFP

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DUBAI: Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa met President Isaac Herzog on Sunday in the first visit by an Israeli head of state to the Gulf state since the countries forged ties two years ago and as a right-wing coalition government takes shape in Israel.

Herzog, whose post is largely ceremonial, will then visit the United Arab Emirates, which also normalised ties with Israel in U.S.-brokered pacts known as the Abraham Accords and had already hosted the Israeli president.

“I have come here with a distinguished delegation of people who lead the business sector in Israel, who are eager to connect and do business with the people of Bahrain,” Herzog said according to a statement provided by his office.

King Hamad also voiced hope the visit would strengthen bilateral relations, state news agency BNA reported, while stressing Manama’s support for “a just, comprehensive and sustainable peace that guarantees legitimate rights of the Palestinian people”.

Israeli president Herzog plans first visit to Bahrain

The incoming Israeli government under Benjamin Netanyahu after an election last month looks likely to include far-right politicians who oppose Palestinian statehood and want the Palestinian Authority, which wields limited self-rule in the West Bank, dismantled.

It includes ultra-nationalist Itamar Ben-Gvir who was among Israeli officials including Netanyahu attending UAE national day celebrations at the Emirati embassy in Tel Aviv on Thursday.

Sunni Muslim-ruled UAE and Bahrain broke with decades of Arab policy when they forged ties, in the absence of Palestinian statehood, with Israel in 2020 under Netanyahu’s leadership in deals partly driven by shared concerns over Iran’s nuclear and missiles programmes and growing regional sway.

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Az_Iz Dec 04, 2022 10:47pm
Muslims all over the world support Palestinians until they get their lands back.
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Az_Iz Dec 04, 2022 10:49pm
Muslims fully understand, Israel is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
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Az_Iz Dec 04, 2022 10:50pm
Deceptive Israel, playing the peace game.
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