Bennett becomes first Israeli PM to visit Bahrain

Bennett’s trip to Manama came at the invitation of the Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, who is also Bahrain’s prime minister.

 Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is seen meeting with Bahraini officials in Manama, after being the first Israeli prime minister in the Gulf Arab state, on February 14, 2022. (photo credit: HAIM ZACH/GPO)
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is seen meeting with Bahraini officials in Manama, after being the first Israeli prime minister in the Gulf Arab state, on February 14, 2022.
(photo credit: HAIM ZACH/GPO)

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett set off for Bahrain on Monday, the first visit of its kind by an Israeli premier.

Bennett called the trip “an exciting event... with the goal to bring meaning and energy to the peace between the two countries.”
“I think that at this stormy time, it is important for our region to send a message of cooperation, of goodwill and of standing together against threats and building bridges to peace,” he said on the tarmac at Ben-Gurion Airport.
Bennett’s trip to Manama came at the invitation of his Bahraini counterpart, Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa. He will also meet with Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, as well as the Gulf state’s finance, foreign, industry and other ministers and representatives of the Jewish community.
The leaders are expected to discuss ways to deepen ties between the countries, regional prosperity, technology and innovation, the Prime Minister’s Office said.
  Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is seen meeting with Bahraini officials in Manama, after being the first Israeli prime minister in the Gulf Arab state, on February 14, 2022. (credit: HAIM ZACH/GPO) Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is seen meeting with Bahraini officials in Manama, after being the first Israeli prime minister in the Gulf Arab state, on February 14, 2022. (credit: HAIM ZACH/GPO)

The countries plan to sign a memorandum of understanding for technological cooperation, among other things.Bennett’s meetings are scheduled for Tuesday, after which he will return to Israel.

Defense Minister Benny Gantz visited Bahrain two weeks ago and signed an MoU to increase defense cooperation between the countries.
Gantz also visited the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet. Soon after the trip, the Israel Navy announced it would have an officer permanently stationed in Bahrain to maintain communications with the fleet.
This will be the first time an IDF officer is stationed in an Arab state.