Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid flew to Bahrain on Thursday, the highest-level Israeli official to visit the Gulf state since the two countries normalized ties last year.
Lapid was met at the airport in Manama by his Bahraini counterpart Abdullatif Al Zayani. The two held meetings in Manama and discussed deepening their ties in the areas of security, economy, diplomacy and civil matters.
Lapid then met with Bahrani Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa at his palace in Manama in the first public meeting Al Khalifa has held with an Israeli official.
Another exciting moment in our historic journey.
— Khaled Al Jalahma (@BahrainAmbIsr) September 30, 2021
FM @yairlapid: “We landed in Bahrain. Proud to represent Israel on the first and historic official visit to the Kingdom. Thanks for the warm welcome”
📸Shlomi Amsalem / GPO pic.twitter.com/8k93WITkeu
— Israel Foreign Ministry (@IsraelMFA) September 30, 2021
Lapid’s meeting with the Crown Prince was followed by another unprecedented meeting with Bahraini King Hamid bin Issa al Khalifa at the royal palace.
— RJC (@RJC) September 30, 2021
מפגש לא שגרתי במנאמה בין מלך בחריין לשר החוץ יאיר לפיד pic.twitter.com/IHL6buxNQi
— roi kais • روعي كايس • רועי קייס (@kaisos1987) September 30, 2021
During Lapid’s meeting with his Bahraini counterpart, the two signed memorandums of understandings on various issues, including water development, environment, and sports. Afterward, the two foreign ministers held a joint press briefing.
— @damianpachter (@damianpachter) September 30, 2021
Shortly after Lapid landed in Bahrain, the first commercial flight from Bahrain to Israel departed from Manama, landing in Tel Aviv at 1:13 p.m.
Bahrain’s Gulf Air maiden flight launched a twice-weekly Tel Aviv-Manama route on Mondays and Thursdays.
Wow, talk about a #SplitScreen of Peace! Just as #Israel’s FM @yairlapid arrived in #Bahrain to inaugurate Israel’s Embassy in Manama, @GulfAir lands at Ben-Gurion Airport, becoming first direct commercial flight ✈️ from 🇧🇭 to 🇮🇱. This is real peace, #AbrahamAccords in action! pic.twitter.com/ciSQFG5ZS4
— Arsen Ostrovsky (@Ostrov_A) September 30, 2021
— Avi Berkowitz (@AviBerkow) September 30, 2021
A group of Shi’ite followers opposed to normalization with Israel carried out a protest against Lapid’s visit on Thursday, bearing signs stating: “The Bahraini people refuse normalization.”
— כאן חדשות (@kann_news) September 30, 2021
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)