Israeli Tourism Minister Haim Katz is the first minister in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's current government to make an official visit to the Arab Gulf nation of Bahrain. The purpose of the visit this week is to strengthen bilateral ties between Jerusalem and the Bahraini capital, Manama, “in the spirit of the Abraham Accords.”
Katz believes regional cooperation could transform the Middle East into an important global tourism destination.
"We will work to realize the potential to turn the Middle East into a leading tourist region in the Asian market and in other distant destinations. Together, we will offer a rich tourist experience. History alongside modernization, culture and fine cuisine," said the Israeli tourism minister.
Tourism packages between Israel and Bahrain are already in development, with one that includes an 8-day itinerary – three days in Bahrain and five in Israel to include Jerusalem, the Dead Sea and the Sea of Galilee.
Bahraini Tourism Minister Fatima bint Jaafar Al-Sairafi invited Katz, who will reportedly also meet with Bahrain's Minister of Finance and Economy Salman bin Khalifa Al Khalifa.
Located strategically in the Persian Gulf, the tiny kingdom of Bahrain normalized ties with the Jewish state in 2020 as part of the historic Abraham Accords, alongside the United Arab Emirates, Morocco and Sudan.
In February 2022, former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett became the first leader of the Jewish state to make an official visit to Bahrain.
At the time, Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa warmly welcomed Bennett to the kingdom.
“I consider it a historical day, to receive the prime minister of Israel. His visit to Bahrain will be a fruitful visit, a successful visit, because of his determination and leadership towards a joint, integrated effort for the best of the two peoples. I thank him for coming here,” Al Khalifa said.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.