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Bahrain appoints first ever envoy to Israel

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) talks with Bahraini Minister for Foreign Affairs Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani (R) ahead of their meeting at the Prime Ministry Office in West Jerusalem on 18 November 2020. [Israeli Prime Ministry/Handout - Anadolu Agency]
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) talks with Bahraini Minister for Foreign Affairs Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani (R) ahead of their meeting at the Prime Ministry Office in West Jerusalem on 18 November 2020. [Israeli Prime Ministry/Handout - Anadolu Agency]

Bahrain has appointed its first ambassador to Israel and has set up its diplomatic mission there according to a royal decree issued on Tuesday.

The envoy was named as Khaled Yousif Al-Jalahma who formerly was director of operations at Bahrain's Foreign Ministry and was deputy chief of mission at Bahrain's Embassy in the US before that.

The Times of Israel reported that the appointment of Al-Jalahma was approved by Israel's Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, after his Bahraini counterpart suggested his name during a conversation on Sunday.

READ: Bahrain refrained from voting for UN motion condemning Israel's violations

"The decision of the Bahraini government to appoint an ambassador to Israel is another important step in the implementation of the peace agreement between and of the strengthening of ties between the two countries," Ashkenazi told Al-Zayani in a statement.

A Bahraini team is expected to arrive in Israel in the coming weeks to set up an embassy in the Tel Aviv area.

The diplomatic development comes after the UAE's recently appointed its envoy to Israel.

The UAE and Bahrain normalised ties with Israel at a signing ceremony in Washington last September as part of the so-called "Abraham Accords". The move was condemned by Iran and its regional allies.

Reacting to the news of Bahrain's announcement, Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem was quoted by Anadolu Agency as saying the decision was the result of "insisting on the mistake of signing a normalization agreement with the occupation forces."

READ: Bahrain is yet to normalise ties with its own people

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