Israel’s Netanyahu to visit Bahrain amid signs of Arabs warming ties with Tel Aviv
Story Code : 762980
“The Kingdom of Bahrain is the next destination for Netanyahu,” Turkey’s official Anadolu news agency quoted Hani Marzouk, a spokesman for Netanyahu's office for Arab media, as telling the Israeli Broadcast Authority on Friday.
He added, “This visit is only a prelude for something bigger, for another Middle East. It "is the start for new relations and an indication that we are on the right track to correct history.”
Marzouk added, “Israel sees the Arab world is large, diverse and has rich human potential and it wants to establish great relations with it at the scientific and academic level.”
Israeli Transportation and Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz visited Oman on November 4 to attend an international transport conference and pitch a railway project that would link the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean via Israeli-occupied territories.
The trip came on the heels of a surprise visit by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Oman late last month, where he met Sultan Sayyid Qaboos bin Said Al Said at the Bait al-Barakah Royal Palace in the coastal city of Seeb near the capital Muscat.
Israel’s English-language daily newspaper The Jerusalem Post reported that the two men discussed ways to advance the so-called Middle East peace process as well as a number of issues of mutual interest with regard to the region’s stability.
Netanyahu was accompanied by senior officials, including the head of the Mossad spy agency and his national security adviser.
Netanyahu's unpublicized visit to Oman came on the same day that Israeli Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev traveled to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to accompany Israel’s judo team at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam 2018.
Regev arrived in Abu Dhabi on October 26, and she participated in the opening ceremony of the international event at the Emirati capital’s Zayed Sports City, Palestinian Arabic-language Ma’an news agency reported.
Her visit to the UAE marked the first of its kind by an Israeli minister to a Persian Gulf littoral state.
Tel Aviv and Abu Dhabi have no diplomatic ties and the UAE does not recognize Israel, but the two sides have increased backchannel cooperation in recent years. There have been numerous reports of growing contacts between Saudi and Israeli officials too.
Among Arab countries, Israel has diplomatic relations only with Egypt and Jordan.
Saudi Arabia has hostile ties with resistance movements in the Palestinian territories, including Hamas which is fighting the Israeli occupation.