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Historic moment: FM Yair Lapid becomes first Israeli minister to visit Bahrain

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By ILANIT CHERNICK

In a historic moment, Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid became the first-ever Israeli minister to visit Bahrain, landing in the country’s capital Manama on Thursday morning.

The Israeli Foreign Minister said he is “proud to represent Israel on the first and historic official visit to the Kingdom” and thanked local officials “for the warm welcome.”

Lapid, together with Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani opened Israel’s embassy in Manama and also met to discuss furthering diplomatic ties between the two countries following the establishment of the Abraham Accords peace agreement in September last year.

During the meeting, Lapid said the two discussed “the cooperation between our countries and about taking the official peace between us and turning it into an active, economic, security, political and civic friendship.”

According to Israel’s Foreign Ministry, Lapid also met with the country’s Crown Prince and Prime Minister, Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, marking the first time an open meeting has been held between an Israeli official and Bahrain’s leader.
“Thank you for the privilege of being here today and taking another step together in building our relationship, in a model of partnership and coexistence between cultures and religions,” he told Hamad Al Khalifa during the meeting

The Abraham Accords have seen Israel establish the normalization of ties with several Arab countries including the UAE, Sudan, Bahrain and Morocco.

In other news also on Thursday, Gulf Air made its maiden flight to Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport from Bahrain, inaugurating the carrier’s new route of direct flights between the countries.

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