‘We will do great things together,’ Bahrain’s Crown Prince tells Israel’s PM Bennett on a visit in Manama
Bennett arrived in Manama, the capital of Bahrain, on Monday evening (15 February), the first visit to the country by an Israeli prime minister. Israel and Bahrain signed the Abraham Accords normalization agreement in September 2020.
Bennett was welcomed into the palace of Crown Prince and Prime Minister Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa by an honour guard in an official reception. The Crown Prince said: “All responsible nations must make an effort to achieve peace. We have never experienced war between us, but there have never been proper relations between our countries. We will now see a Middle East free of disputes, based on the principles of mutual respect, understanding and joint responsibility for security.”
“I come from Israel with a spirit of goodwill, of cooperation, of standing together amid mutual challenges. I think our goal in this visit is to turn it from government-to-government to people-to-people peace and to convert it from ceremonies to substance,” said Bennett. “We want to fill this relationship with substance in energy, in drive, in economy, in tourism and in regional architecture.”Advertisement
He specifically said he is looking forward to fostering relationships in high-tech, trade, agriculture and technology.
The prince spoke about the Abraham Accords, which the countries signed in the fall of 2020.
He said that “peace should be the endeavor for all responsible peoples. Not that we have ever had a war, but relations between our two countries were not at a level that could be construed as normal. And I think that if we see a wider Middle East that is free from conflict, that is based on principles of mutual respect, understanding and sharing responsibility towards security, we must do more to get to know one another and build upon the Abraham Accords, which have been such a historic agreement.”Advertisement
Al Khalifa added: “We will hopefully do great things together.”
‘’Iran supports terrorist organizations that operate in your region and in our region in order to achieve one goal, which is to destroy moderate countries that care about the welfare of their people and want to achieve stability and peace, and install blood-thirsty terrorist organizations in their place,” Bennett said.“We will not allow that … Iran destabilizes the region.”
He said Israel is “fighting Iran and its henchmen” in the region day and night, and that the country, if asked, would “help our friends” do the same, in the name of promoting peace, security and stability.
In response to a question about the prospects of the United States reaching a nuclear agreement with Iran, Bennett said: “We believe that concluding an agreement with Iran constitutes a strategic mistake because this agreement will enable it to maintain its nuclear capabilities and to obtain hundreds of billions of dollars that will strengthen its terrorist machine that harms many countries in the region and in the world.”
During his visit, Bennett met with the Jewish community of Bahrain and gave them a shofar from Israel for their synagogue.
“I’m very delighted to be here in Bahrain, and I could think of no better way to kick off this visit than seeing my family here in Bahrain,” he said. “All of you are indeed family. I come from Israel with goodwill, with warm friendship between the two peoples, and I’m sure you can be a remarkable bridge between Bahrain and Israel. I’m looking forward to a wonderful day to strengthen the Abraham Accords, to strengthen the relationship between the nations.”
He said that the Jewish community is regarded highly by the Bahraini leadership and that it serves as a model for cooperation between Jews and Muslims in the Middle East in general and in Bahrain in particular.
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