LONDON: US Secretary of State Antony Blinken held talks with his Bahraini counterpart Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani on Friday to discuss bilateral relations and Manama’s ties with Israel.
During the call, Al-Zayani told Blinken he looked forward to working together to deepen the strategic partnership between the two countries to serve their common interests, adding that Bahrain takes pride in the close historical relationship it shares with the US that spans more than 120 years.
Al-Zayani praised Washington’s strategic role in protect the security and stability of the region, saying that the Middle East region needs coexistence and tolerance to achieve stability, lasting peace, growth and prosperity. He wished Blinken success in leading US diplomacy and achieving its desired political goals, Bahrain News Agency (BNA) reported.
Al-Zayani also praised the strength of US-Bahraini relations and the development and growth it was witnessing in various fields. He also said he appreciated the efforts made by the American community in the kingdom to enhance relations and bilateral cooperation in various fields.
Blinken stressed the Biden administration’s keenness to consolidate relations and push them to more comprehensive levels, and said he appreciated Bahrain for hosting the US Naval Forces Central Command, and its prominent role in supporting US efforts to combat terrorism and its financing.
“Secretary Blinken and the foreign minister discussed Bahrain’s historic opening with Israel and ways to capitalize on progress made at the first US-Bahrain Strategic Dialogue held in December,” US State Department spokesman Ned Price said in a statement.
The talks come after Bahrain announced it had appointed Khalid Al-Jalahma as head of its diplomatic mission to Israel on Tuesday. The Israeli foreign ministry said that a team from Bahrain would arrive in Israel in the coming weeks to make the necessary arrangements for the Bahraini embassy.
Bahrain signed a US-brokered deal with Israel last year to normalize relations. The Abraham Accords were also signed by the UAE, Sudan and Morocco. Previously, only Egypt and Jordan had diplomatic relations with Israel, signed in 1979 and 1994, respectively.
Price said the two sides also discussed joint regional security initiatives throughout the Gulf.
“Secretary Blinken outlined key policy objectives, including continued progress on human rights, and commended Bahrain for its successful efforts to combat human trafficking,” Price added.
They also discussed US efforts to reach a political solution to the war in Yemen, international efforts being made to address the dangers of the Iranian nuclear file, and other regional and international issues of common concern, BNA said.
Source Link: https://www.arabnews.com/node/1836551/middle-east