Coalition 14 February/Twitter
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett visited Bahrain on 15 February to meet with Crown Prince and Prime Minister Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa in a landmark trip to the Gulf country.
The visit came 17 months after the official establishment of relations under the US-brokered Abraham Accords, based in part on curtailing Iran’s regional influence.
Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdul Latif Al-Zayani told reporters on 15 February that “the Iranian nuclear file and terrorism were on the agenda of the talks between the Kingdom and Israel.”
Bennett also discussed the need for greater economic cooperation with Bahraini officials. “We want to fill this relationship with substance in energy, in drive, in economy, in tourism and in the regional architecture,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Bahraini ruler said: “We must do more to get to know one another and build upon the Abraham Accords, which have been such a historic agreement.”
Bennett landed in the country on the evening of 14 February, marking the first visit by an Israeli official to Manama.
In addition to receiving a warm welcome by Bahraini officials, Bennett’s visit was also met with protests and opposition from the Bahraini people.
Images and videos of large demonstrations were circulated on Twitter on 15 February, with protesters trampling on and burning Israeli flags in opposition to the prime minister’s visit.
The protests took place in Shia villages across Bahrain, as well as in the capital Manama.
Demonstrations included slogans condemning the actions of the Bahraini government, especially the September 2020 signing of normalization agreements with Israel.
These also coincided with the 11th anniversary of the Bahraini uprising against the Al-Khalifa regime, which took place on 14 February 2011.
According to opposition sources quoted in the Al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper, Bahraini authorities arrested at least four people during the latest protests.