Bahrain is secretly holding talks with Israel in preparation for open relations between the two countries and a visit to the Gulf state by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Yedioth Ahronoth revealed yesterday.
Quds Press reported the Israeli newspaper saying that the talks come in the framework of normalising ties with the Arab states ahead of implementing the American plan, known as the "deal of the century", to end the conflict in the region.
On Saturday, Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Khaled Bin Ahmad Al-Khalifa said that he "wishes success for the efforts being exerted by the Omani Sultan Qaboos Bin Said aimed at reviving the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians."
During a security summit, Al-Khalifa said: "The proposed regional security alliance between the US – on one hand – and Egypt and Jordan – on the other – will remain open for any country which accepts its principles."
Al-Khalifa's remarks came only one day after Netanyahu visited Oman to discuss reviving the Middle East peace process along with other issues of common interest.
This is not the first visit by an Israeli premier to the Gulf state, the late Israeli prime minister Ishak Rabin visited Oman in 1994 and the late prime minister and president Shimon Peres arrived in the country in 1996.