The Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, spoke with the Bahrain Foreign Minister, Abdulatif bin Rashid Al Zayani, before signing and said: “We are taking giant steps to promote peace (…) This is the beginning of progress towards peace,” according to an official statement.
The first flight of ElAl, the Israeli airline, to Manama left Ben Gurion airport this morning with an Israeli and an American delegation. It was flight LY973, the number of which corresponds to the international telephone code for Bahrain.
The pilot of the flight, Bobby Lavi, addressed the passengers saying: “We wish you a pleasant flight and look forward to a new era of peace, salam and shalom for the entire region. Thank you,” according to the Israeli public body Kan.
Al Zayani, who signed the first peace declaration in Washington last month, and his undersecretary for International Affairs Abdullah bin Ahmed bin Abdullah Al Khalifa welcomed the visitors upon landing in Manama.
The host foreign minister told delegations that they were building the Abraham Accords, the accords his country and the United Arab Emirates (USA) signed with Israel in September, “with optimism and hoping that this peace will bring new stability and prosperity to the region, allowing our young people in the Middle East to achieve the potential, the aspirations, that have been denied them for so long. Today we are laying the foundation on which they can achieve that goal.
The head of the Israeli delegation, National Security Advisor Meir Ben Shabat, said upon landing, in Arabic and Hebrew “we have come to add blessings and peace.”
The Israelis spent just over seven hours in Manama in meetings with their counterparts, signed eight documents, including a declaration of peace that includes the establishment of full diplomatic relations and the opening of embassies.
The other documents were on economic cooperation, civil aviation, cooperation between finance, communications and postal ministries, agriculture and cooperation between foreign ministries.