Netanyahu to follow Saudi visit with Bahrain trip

"This was our second conversation; it was very friendly," Netanyahu said regarding a conversation with Bahrain's prime minister.

Bahrain's Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al-Zayani meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, November 18, 2020 (photo credit: KOBI GIDON / GPO)
Bahrain's Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al-Zayani meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, November 18, 2020
(photo credit: KOBI GIDON / GPO)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday announced plans to travel to Bahrain in the aftermath of his unusual visit to Saudi Arabia, which has no ties with Israel.
As a sign of Netanyahu’s deepening relationship with regional Arab leaders, Netanyahu said he had spoken Monday with Bahraini Prime Minister Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.
“This was our second conversation; it was very friendly,” Netanyahu said.
“Both of us are very moved by the fact that we can bring peace to our peoples and our countries in a very short time. Therefore, he also invited me to make an official visit to Bahrain soon. I will do so, on your behalf, with pleasure,” Netanyahu said on Tuesday. It would be his first such trip.
According to KAN News Netanyahu could travel to Bahrain as early as next week. Separately, Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi is also expected to be in Bahrain next week to open the first Israeli embassy there.
Israel this month ratified its normalization deal with Bahrain, which followed a similar deal with the United Arab Emirates.
Last Wednesday, Netanyahu hosted a trilateral meeting between himself, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani in Jerusalem.
The UAE and Bahrain deals were brokered by the Trump administration under the rubric of its Abraham Accords.
Israel and Sudan have already agreed in principle to sign a further normalization deal.
On Monday, according to Reuters, Israel sent a delegation to Sudan to discuss economic and humanitarian cooperation.
The talks focused on how Israel might shore up Sudan’s agriculture, food security, water supplies and health care, the source, who declined to be identified by name or nationality, told Reuters.
The Israeli delegates also met separately with representatives of the US Embassy in Khartoum, the source said.
Israeli and Sudanese officials had no immediate comment. Nor did the US Embassy in Jerusalem.
Pundits have also eyed Saudi Arabia as the next possible country to normalize ties with the Jewish state.
Pompeo in recent days has visited the UAE, Qatar and then Saudi Arabia on Sunday. On Tuesday in Washington Pompeo met with Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Ahmad Nasser.
In an unprecedented move, Netanyahu joined Pompeo in Saudi Arabia for a meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is believed to favor ties with Israel, while his father King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud is opposed.
The trip was kept secret and revealed a day later via the media.
Reuters contributed to this report.