Israel and Bahrain signed a security agreement, the first of its kind since the normalisation of ties between the two nations, during a two-day visit by Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz to the Arab country.
Gantz, who landed in Manama on Wednesday for the first visit of an Israeli Defence Minister, met Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa in the royal palace, Gantz’s office said in a statement.
During the meeting on Thursday, Gantz and his Bahraini counterpart Abdullah Bin Hassan Al Noaimi signed a security memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the two countries, Xinhua news agency quoted the statement as saying.
The MoU, signed about a year after Israel and Bahrain normalized their relations, “will support any future cooperation in the areas of intelligence, mil-to-mil, industrial collaboration and more”, the Israeli Defence Ministry said.
“We are building on the groundbreaking Abraham Accords and deepening ties between our nations. Only one year following the signing of the Accords, we have achieved an important defence agreement, which will contribute to the security of both countries and the stability of the region,” Gantz said, hailing the “historic” MoU “new heights” in Israel-Bahrain relations.
Israel and Bahrain, along with the United Arab Emirates, decided to normalize their ties in a US-brokered agreement in 2020.
In September of 2021, Bahrain’s first ambassador to Israel presented his credentials to the Israeli President, days before Foreign Minister Yair Lapid flew to Manama to open the first Israeli embassy in the Gulf country.