Bahrain changes tune, says won’t allow imports from Israeli settlements

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Israeli National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat (left), signs a joint communique with Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani in Manama, Bahrain, on Oct. 18, 2020. Credit: Haim Zach/GPO.

Industry, Commerce and Tourism Minister Zayed bin Rashid Al Zayani’s statement last week was “misinterpreted,” says state news agency

 Bahrain will not allow imports from Israeli settlements in Judea and Samaria, Bahrain’s Industry, Commerce and Tourism Ministry said on Friday according to a report by the state news agency BNA. The ministry’s statement contradicted the country’s trade minister, who said during a visit to Israel last week that they would be allowed.

Bahraini Industry, Commerce and Tourism Minister Zayed bin Rashid Al Zayani’s statement “was misinterpreted,” the ministry said, adding that “the ministry is committed to the Bahraini government’s unwavering stance regarding adherence to the resolutions of the United Nations, the Arab League and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation concerning the Israeli settlements in the West Bank and the Syrian Golan Heights.”

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki claimed that in a phone conversation with him, Zayani had denied ever making the comments.

“The alleged comments … totally contradicted his country’s [Bahrain] supportive position of the Palestinian cause,” said a statement from Maliki’s office, according to Reuters.

Al Zayani was in Israel last week at the head of a 40-member delegation. He signed a historic Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with his Israeli counterpart Orit Farkash-Hacohen at a ceremony in Jerusalem on Wednesday.

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