Isaac Herzog becomes first-ever Israeli president to visit Bahrain

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Israeli President Isaac Herzog arrived in Bahrain on Sunday, the first visit by an Israeli head of state to the small Gulf kingdom since relations were normalized in 2020.

According to pictures posted to Herzog’s Twitter account, he was greeted at the airport by Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdullatif al-Zayani.

He announced on Twitter that he would meet King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa as well as Crown Prince and Prime Minister Sheikh Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa.

Herzog, who was accompanied by an economic delegation, stated that he would discuss “ways to strengthen our economic cooperation,” as well as climate change and security issues.

Herzog then stated that he would travel to Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates.

Following negotiations spearheaded by former US President Donald Trump’s administration, the UAE, Bahrain, and Morocco became the first Arab states in decades to normalize relations with Israel in 2020.

Previously, the Jewish state had signed peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan.

“I call on more states in our region to join this partnership, strengthening the Middle East,” Herzog tweeted on Sunday.

Outgoing Prime Minister Yair Lapid, Israel’s top diplomat at the time, visited Bahrain in September last year to inaugurate the Israeli embassy.

Israel signed a defense agreement with Bahrain in February of this year, and Naftali Bennett became the first Israeli prime minister to visit the country.