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Bahrain, Israel think tanks to collaborate on joint programmes

This combination of pictures created on September 11, 2020 shows a Bahraini man waving a national flag (L) in the capital Manama on March 22, 2011, and an Israeli man holding his country's national flag on January 24, 2017 [JOSEPH EID,JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images]

Think tanks from Bahrain and Israel are to plan joint programmes following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) earlier this month.

The Abba Eban Institute for International Diplomacy at Israel's IDC Herzliya University signed the agreement with the Derasat Institute of the Bahrain Centre for Strategic, International and Energy Studies.

Following the IDC's press release, it was reported by the Jerusalem Post that the agreement aims to establish a partnership between the two institutes with joint meetings, projects and workshops in the pipeline.

The MoU was signed by Israel's former ambassador to the UN, Ron Prosor, who currently chairs the Abba Eban Institute Derasat Institute Executive Director Hamad Ebrahim Al-Abdulla.

READ: In Israel, Bahrain minister slams Iran nuclear deal

The signing took place during a visit to Israel by a senior Bahraini official, Sheikh Abdulla Bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa, undersecretary for political affairs at the Bahraini Ministry of Foreign Affairs who noted that the ceremony was held close to the first anniversary of the Abraham Accords signed in Washington between Israel, Bahrain and the UAE.

Al-Khalifa was quoted as saying: "A year ago, there was nothing between our two countries. Today, we have come a very long way… We can confidently say that we have a solid foundation to develop these bilateral ties."

For his part, Prosor of the Abba Eban Institute explained that "We sign this MoU at the time when our shared security interests are taking centre stage again."

"Iran's recent attacks in the Gulf on maritime vessels and its proxy Hezbollah's recent attacks against Israel only strengthened the importance of working together to present a firm front against the growing Iranian aggression, and not just in the Middle East," he added.

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