Israel officially opened its embassy in Bahrain on Monday, three years after both sides normalised ties and as Washington presses Riyadh for a similar deal that would be Israel’s biggest diplomatic win in the region.
“The (Bahrain) foreign minister and I agreed that we should work together to increase the number of direct flights, the tourism, the trade volume, the investments,” Cohen said during the ceremony.
Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Abdullatif al-Zayani said the inauguration of the embassy “signifies our shared commitment to security and prosperity for all the peoples of our region”.
Bahrain, home to the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet, is a small island on the Gulf where Saudi Sunni allies, the al-Khalifa royal family, rule over a Shiite majority.
However, Riyadh has so far resisted US pressure and linked the move to the creation of a Palestinian state as part of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, along with other demands.