MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) — Israel’s prime minister met with Bahrain’s crown prince on Tuesday as the brand new allies sought to nurture nearer cooperation and current a united entrance to their shared nemesis Iran.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett was making a one-day go to to the Gulf island kingdom, the primary by an Israeli chief, lower than two years after the nations established formal diplomatic relations as a part of the U.S.-brokered “Abraham Accords.”
Bennett was greeted by Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, who additionally serves as the dominion’s prime minister, and a army coloration guard at Manama’s Gudaibiya Palace. He additionally met with a number of authorities ministers and mentioned the necessity for larger financial cooperation.
In latest months, as tensions with Iran have soared, the 2 nations have intensified army cooperation.
Early this month, they signed a protection pact, and final week, Bahrain introduced that an Israeli naval officer could be stationed in Manama, which can be dwelling to the U.S. Navy’s fifth Fleet. The Israeli army confirmed it’ll have a naval consultant connected to the fifth fleet.
Bennett met with the fleet commander, Vice Adm. Brad Cooper, throughout his cease in Manama. Bennett’s workplace mentioned the fleet “is a big aspect in sustaining regional stability within the face of varied safety threats.”
It didn’t point out Iran particularly. However Israel has made no secret of its issues about Iranian naval actions throughout the area.
Israel has stepped up its naval presence within the Crimson Sea after a collection of assaults on business ships with hyperlinks to Israel, which it blamed on Iran.
Earlier this month Israeli ships took half in an enormous naval train within the Gulf, which included ships from Oman and Saudi Arabia, with whom Israel doesn’t have formal diplomatic ties. Israeli warships additionally participated in U.S.-led naval drills with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain within the Crimson Sea in November.
Israel and Bahrain established formal diplomatic ties after years of clandestine safety cooperation over their shared enmity of Bahrain’s neighbor, Iran.
Israel and Bahrain have exchanged ambassadors and signed commerce and protection agreements since they signed a normalization settlement on the White Home garden, alongside the United Arab Emirates, Sudan and Morocco, in September 2020.
Bennett’s go to got here as negotiations between world powers and Iran to achieve a global settlement to curb Tehran’s nuclear program continued in Vienna. Israel has mentioned it will not be sure by any such settlement and that it will take no matter motion needed, together with a army strike, to forestall Iran from acquiring nuclear arms.
Iran insists its nuclear program is solely for peaceable functions.