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Israeli PM Netanyahu to visit Bahrain 'soon' Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Israeli PM Netanyahu to visit Bahrain 'soon'

Netanyahu's made a surprise trip to Oman which was condemned by Palestinians [File photo: Getty]

Date of publication: 23 November, 2018

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Netanyahu's office said the trip was "a prelude for something bigger", hinting at warming ties with other Arab states.
Israeli Prime Mininster Binyamin Netanyahu will be visiting Bahrain "soon", his office said on Friday.

"The Kingdom of Bahrain is the next destination for Netanyahu," Hani Marzouk, a spokesman for the Prime Minister's office for Arab media said.

"This visit is only a prelude for something bigger, for another Middle East," Marzouk said.

The visit "is the start for new relations and an indication that we are on the right track to correct history," he said.

On Tuesday the Israel Broadcasting Corporation's Arabic-language service announced Israeli authorities were in talks with "an Arab state" to host Netanyahu on an official visit.

It followed the prime minister's surprise visit to the Gulf sultanate of Oman last month - the first in 22 years by an Israeli leader.

It took place despite the two nations having no diplomatic ties.

Following Netanyahu's visit, Israeli ministers visited the UAE and Oman.

Israel currently has full diplomatic relations with only Egypt and Jordan, but the trips are the latest sign of growing regional ties between Israel and Arab States.

Israel and some Gulf States - notably Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain - have a shared interest in curbing Iran's influence in the region and cooperate on intelligence gathering.

In the past two years, a series of reports of covert meetings between Israeli and Saudi officials give an impression of a rapprochement between the two states.

Palestinian officials strongly condemned Oman for hosting Netanyahu in a surprise visit, saying it was a betrayal of the Palestinian people who still live under brutal Israeli occupation in Gaza and the West Bank.

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