Lapid to open first Israeli embassy in Bahrain

The one-day trip is the latest step toward cementing the Abraham Accords, under which Israeli ties were normalized with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan in 2020.

THE FLAGS of the US, United Arab Emirates, Israel and Bahrain are seen on the side of a road in Netanya, in September. (photo credit: FLASH90)
THE FLAGS of the US, United Arab Emirates, Israel and Bahrain are seen on the side of a road in Netanya, in September.
(photo credit: FLASH90)

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid will make history twice on Thursday when he inaugurates the country’s first embassy in Bahrain during the first official Israeli ministerial visit to that Gulf nation.

The one-day trip is the latest step toward cementing the Abraham Accords, under which Israeli ties were normalized with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan in 2020.

Lapid will be accompanied by Foreign Ministry Director-General Alon Ushpiz and Deputy Director-General for Middle Eastern Affairs and the Peace Process Oded Joseph.

He heads out just after Prime Minister Naftali Bennett returns from New York on Wednesday night.

On Sunday, Bennett held his first face-to-face meeting with Abraham Accord signatories on the sidelines of the UNGA. He met with Bahraini Foreign Minister Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani and UAE Minister of State in the Foreign Ministry Khalifa Shaheen Almarar.

 (L-R) Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and Bahraini ambassador  Khaled Al Jalahma. (credit: FOREIGN MINISTRY) (L-R) Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and Bahraini ambassador Khaled Al Jalahma. (credit: FOREIGN MINISTRY)

On Monday Bennett touted the importance of the Abraham Accords when he delivered his debut address to the high-level portion of the opening session of the 76th UN General Assembly.

Almarar, who took the podium said that his country was encouraged by the establishment of new relations in the region, when referencing the Abraham Accords, but he did not specifically mention ties with Israel.

The UAE this year opened an embassy in Tel Aviv and Israel has inaugurated one in Abu Dhabi. Bahrain’s Ambassador to Israel Khaled Yousif al-Jalahma arrived last month. Israel has appointed Eitan Naeh to fill the role of Bahraini Ambassador, but he has not yet arrived in the country. Acting ambassador Itay Tánger is representing Israel in Bahrain.

Israel and Morocco are similarly expected to open embassies in the other’s country.

Sudan, however, has lagged in the normalization process.

Sudanese Foreign Minister Mariam Sadiq Al Mahdi told The National newspaper in the UAE that her country does not plan to host an Israeli embassy in Khartoum, even though both countries have agreed to open such a diplomatic office.

“There’s not any sign of normalization with Israel… and there are no talks at any official level,” Al Mahdi told The National, “I’m telling you this as the foreign minister… Abolishing a law on boycotting Israel does not mean that we consider opening an Israeli embassy in Khartoum.”