Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will shortly visit Bahrain capital Manama, at the invitation of Bahrain Crown Prince and Prime Minister Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. The two men spoke yesterday, their second conversation since the crown prince was appointed prime minister. A statement issued by Netanyahu's bureau said that they discussed closer ties between the two countries. The statement in Netanyahu's name said: "I have just talked with the Bahrain crown prince, Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, our second very friendly conversation. We are both excited at the fact that we can bring the fruits of peace to our peoples and countries within a very short time. He therefore invited me to come for an official visit to Bahrain in the near future. I shall do that, as your emissary, very willingly."
This conversation took place a day after the secret meeting that came to light between Netanyahu and Mohammed bin Salman, the strong man in the government of Saudi Arabia, and it signals that relations are carrying on as normal, despite the reporting of the meeting, which some of the Saudi leadership did not like, with the country's foreign minister, Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, publishing a denial that the meeting took place.
Bahrain is a sort of Saudi protectorate, and as far as its foreign relations are concerned, everything is coordinated with the Saudi government. The Bahraini crown prince is the third side in the triangle of crown princes, the other two being Mohammed bin Salman, and Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates. Like these other two, he supports the normalization process and the peace agreement with Israel, although his position in the kingdom is not as strong as those of his two counterparts in theirs, and the king of Bahrain, Hamad bin Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa, still sets the tone.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on November 24, 2020
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