Bahrain minister to visit Israel, meet Netanyahu, Ashkenazi

Israel’s Foreign Ministry confirms a planned visit later this week by Bahrain industry, trade and tourism minister Zayed al-Zayani.

Zayani is slated to arrive on Tuesday and leave on Thursday. While here he will meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi and Industry Minister Amir Peretz.

Ashkenazi had been slated to fly to Manama this week but his visit was canceled late last week. According to Israel’s Foreign Ministry, Manama requires that ministers only visit after the head of state or government does so, though it does not appear to be actual Bahraini policy. In general around the world, lower level visits are expected to precede one by a head of state or government, not vice versa.

Netanyahu had said he was planning to go to Bahrain — reportedly as early as this week — but the kingdom asked him to wait until he could visit the UAE as well.

According to Walla News, joining al-Zayani will be some 40 Bahraini business leaders.

There have been several low and mid-level delegations between the countries since they agreed to normalize ties earlier this year.