Historic Visit: FM Lapid Meets With Bahraini King, Crown Prince in Manama [VIDEOS & PHOTOS]

Israel's Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, center left, is met by his Bahraini counterpart, Abdullatif bin Rashid Alzayani, center right, for the first high-level visit to the small Gulf state by a senior Israeli official since the signing of a landmark agreement to establish diplomatic ties between the two countries last year, in Manama, Bahrain, Thursday, Sept. 30, 2021. Lapid will inaugurate Israel’s embassy. (Shlomi Amshalem/GPO via AP)

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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.

Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid meets with Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani in Manama during the first Israeli ministerial visit to the country, on September 30, 2021. (credit: Shlomi Amsalem/GPO)
Foreign Minister Yair Lapid meets with Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, crown prince of Bahrain, at his palace in Manama on September 30, 2021. (Shlomi Amsallem/GPO)

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.

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.

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.

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.”

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)