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Israel, Bahrain appoint ambassadors

Israel has named Eitan Na’eh as the nation’s first ambassador to Bahrain.

By Erin Viner

The diplomatic appointment follows the normalization of relations with the Gulf Arab state last year, as part of the Abraham Accords peace process between the Jewish State and many of its regional neighbors.

Ambassador Na’eh previously served for 8 as temporary head of mission at the Israeli Embassy in the United Arab Emirates, which was the first Gulf state to formalize ties with Israel in August 2020. The following month, both the UAE and Bahrain signed United States’-brokered deals to establish ties with Israel, a move later followed by Sudan and Morocco.

Bahrain’s first ambassador to Israel Khaled Yousif al-Jalahma arrived in the country earlier this week. The veteran Bahraini diplomat, who previously served as Deputy Ambassador to the US, commented on Twitter in an Arabic, English and Hebrew message that, “The opportunity to fulfill His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa’s vision of peaceful coexistence with all nations is a privilege that I will hold in high regard.”

The state-run Bahrain News Agency hailed the arrival of the nation’s envoy in Israel as “an important step in developing relations between the two countries and their people.”

Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Lior Haiat welcomed Jalahma’s arrival in a statement, that “The Bahraini Embassy in Israel, as well as the Israeli Embassy in Bahrain, have a central role in the strengthening of the bilateral relations and serve as yet another milestone of the vision of the peace accords signed in 2020.”

Israel expects bilateral trade with Bahrain to reach at least $220 million this year, not including additional likely defense and tourism deals.