Official Israeli delegation to attend US-led meeting in Bahrain to discuss countering Iranian threats against shipping routes in the Gulf.
Ben Ariel, 20/10/19 04:38
An official Israeli delegation will attend a US-led maritime security meeting to be held on Sunday in Bahrain, Western diplomats told Channel 13 News’ Barak Ravid on Saturday.
The meeting is intended to focus on countering Iranian threats against shipping routes in the Gulf, according to the report.
Israel and Bahrain do not have full and official diplomatic relations, but the Israeli participation in the conference is another example of the Iranian threat that is bringing Israel and the Gulf states closer together and allowing their government officials to be seen publicly around the same table, noted Ravid.
The meeting will be attended by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Oman and is seen as a follow-up to the US-led anti-Iran conference held in Warsaw in February. Around 60 countries attended that conference and have participated in ongoing meetings since, noted Ravid.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu took part in the Warsaw conference in February, in which Foreign Ministers from Bahrain and Saudi Arabia criticized Iran and said the Islamic Republic threatens the rest of the Middle East.
According to the State Department, the Bahrain meeting on October 21-22 will focus on maintaining maritime and aviation security in the Middle East and promote steps to interdict and prevent shipments of illicit weapons of mass destruction.
Eliot Kang, principal deputy assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation, will head the US delegation, according to Ravid’s report.
The Israeli delegation will be led by Foreign Ministry officials. The Foreign Ministry did not deny the report, and said, “Israel is part of the Warsaw process.”
Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz recently held a first public meeting with Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa during a visit to Washington.
The public meeting and a joint photo of the two were coordinated behind the scenes by US State Department officials as part of a conference on religious freedom in Washington hosted by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
The two men discussed Iran, regional threats and cooperation between the two countries, and agreed to maintain contact.
Source: Arutz Sheva