Israel’s top diplomat, Yair Lapid, on Thursday started a landmark visit to Bahrain where he opened an Israeli embassy in the country, one year after the US-brokered normalization of relations between the two countries, the news agency reported. AFP.
The Israeli foreign minister landed at Bahrain’s Manama Airport before a Gulf Air A320 plane took off from the airport for Israel to mark the first commercial flight between the two countries.
Aircrews wave Bahraini and Israeli flags from the cockpit window of the passenger jet as it lands at Ben Gurion airport near Tel Aviv, Israel.
Commercial flights from Bahrain and the Israeli foreign minister’s first bilateral visit to the Gulf state are part of normalizing regional relations after the United Arab Emirates, Morocco and Sudan last year also agreed to build ties with Israel under an agreement known as the Abraham Accords.
“We have officially opened the Israeli embassy in Bahrain,” Lapid tweeted. “We agreed that there will be an opening of the Bahrain embassy in Israel by the end of this year.”
Lapid met with the King of Bahrain, Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa, in a meeting called by the Israeli media as the first public meeting of a Gulf king with an Israeli official.
Lapid’s visit was also marked by demonstrations by demonstrators in the capital Manama against his visit and the opening of the Israeli embassy in Bahrain. (my/jm)