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Mossad chief openly visits Bahrain for first time, meets with security chiefs

Top security officials discuss cooperation during intelligence chief’s unprecedented public trip after September’s normalization accord

Head of the Mossad Yossi Cohen speaks at a Cyber conference at Tel Aviv University on June 24, 2019. (Flash90)
Head of the Mossad Yossi Cohen speaks at a Cyber conference at Tel Aviv University on June 24, 2019. (Flash90)

Yossi Cohen, head of Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency, visited the kingdom of Bahrain on Wednesday, the official Bahrain News Agency announced on Thursday afternoon.

Cohen met with Bahraini security chiefs Lieutenant General Adel bin Khalifa Al-Fadil and Sheikh Ahmed bin Abdulaziz Al Khalifa. It was Cohen’s first official visit since the signing of the breakthrough normalization pact between Israel and Bahrain in mid-September.

“The two sides discussed issues of common interest and stressed the importance of the declaration in support of peace signed between the Kingdom of Bahrain and the State of Israel,” the state news agency reported.

Cohen has been cited as a key figure in reaching the normalization deals with Abu Dhabi and Manama, signed at a festive White House ceremony. He reportedly shuttled to Gulf states on numerous surreptitious journeys in recent years to build closer clandestine ties with Arab nations.

Cohen told Channel 12 news in late September that the accords signified “the breaking of a glass ceiling that existed in our relations with Arab states,” adding that the move to formalize ties was achieved through long years of “contacts managed very, very delicately.”

According to the statement published by the Bahrain News Agency Thursday, the two sides discussed “the significant role that [the accords] will play in promoting stability, upholding the values of peace in the region, and opening horizons for cooperation between the two countries.”

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