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THE WEEK AHEAD: Biden may meet with Saudi crown prince, Lapid goes to Washington, Israel’s foreign minister in Bahrain and a new embassy opens in Jerusalem

Here are the stories we are watching...

U.S. President Joe Biden meets Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, July 15, 2022 (Photo: Saudi Foreign Ministry)
  • Eli Cohen in Bahrain

  • Yair Lapid in Washington

  • Herzog in Europe

  • Palestinian delegation in Saudi Arabia

  • Papua New Guinea embassy

  • G20 summit

  • Ronaldinho in Tel Aviv

  • Arba'een Pilgrimage



Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen will travel to Bahrain for meetings on Sunday, Sept. 3, according to sources in the Israeli Embassy to Bahrain. His three-day trip will be the first official visit by a member of the coalition government.

The foreign minister was previously scheduled to visit the kingdom in late July, but that trip was canceled. At the time, Bahrain said it was “postponed due to schedule constraints,” however, many believe it was because of National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir’s controversial visit to the Temple Mount.

Cohen has been working to continue expanding the Abraham Accords and has visited several Muslim countries since assuming his role. Last week, he met with Libyan Foreign Minister Najla El Mangoush in Rome. The historic meeting eventually led to her dismissal and a diplomatic fiasco, according to reports.


Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid will travel to Washington, D.C. this week to meet with White House and U.S. State Department officials, according to Israeli media reports. Lapid is expected to discuss the latest U.S. negotiations with Saudi Arabia on a peace agreement with Israel, after he had publicly expressed opposition to the idea that the kingdom might develop its own civilian nuclear program. Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, who visited the U.S. last week, has also raised his concerns with White House officials. 

Lapid’s trip comes as a meeting between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Joe Biden has yet to be officially scheduled. Sept. 18 has been floated as an optional date.

Meanwhile, the U.S. State Department has announced that Assistant Secretary of State for Arms Control, Verification and Compliance, Mallory Stewart, will travel to Jerusalem and Turkey's capital, Ankara, this week. She is expected to meet with Israeli officials to discuss strategic stability, multilateral arms control, responsible uses of artificial intelligence and space security. 


Israeli President Isaac Herzog will pay a two-day state visit to Slovakia and Austria, beginning on Monday, Sept. 4. Herzog will meet with the countries’ heads of government, other senior officials and leaders of the Jewish communities. While in Slovakia, Herzog is scheduled to make a stop at the grave of the renowned Rabbi Moses Schreiber (1762–1839), known as the Chatam Sofer, one of the greatest spiritual leaders of European Jewry.

In the Austrian capital of Vienna, Herzog will be welcomed by a guard of honor at the Hofburg Palace. He will also participate in an unveiling ceremony at the historical home of the founder of modern political Zionism, Theodor (Binyamin Ze'ev) Herzl (1860-1904).


Amid reports that Saudi Arabia and Israel are inching closer to establishing diplomatic ties, a delegation of Palestinian Authority officials from Ramallah is expected to arrive in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia this week. Even though their influence on Saudi decision-making is likely limited, Palestinians are expected to try to secure their interests in the event of a Saudi-Israeli peace deal.

A report in the Wall Street Journal claimed the Saudi Kingdom has agreed to resume financial aid to the Palestinians in an attempt to garner support for PA President Mahmoud Abbas in their outreach toward Israel. 


Papua New Guinea will open its embassy in Jerusalem during a visit by Prime Minister James Marape to Israel on Monday, according to Israeli media reports. This will be its first diplomatic mission in Israel, while Israel’s relations with Papua New Guinea are handled by the embassy in Australia. The two countries established ties in 1978.

Papua New Guinea, a country with many Evangelical Christians, regularly supports Israel in UN votes. Hungary and Fiji are also expected to announce embassy moves from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in the coming months.


The 18th G20 Summit will convene for two days in New Delhi next weekend, bringing together leaders from the world's 20 largest economies to coordinate global policy on trade, health, climate and security issues. Hosted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, it is the first time the summit is being held in South Asia.

As always, interesting meetings are also expected to take place on the sidelines of the summit. According to reports, Biden is considering meeting with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman. Such a meeting could help progress the process toward normalization between Saudi Arabia and Israel.


Retired Brazilian soccer legend Ronaldinho Gaúcho, known as Ronaldinho, will return to Israel this week, where he will join the FC Barcelona Legends team to play two friendly games against former Maccabi Tel Aviv players on Tuesday at the Bloomfield Stadium. The team is also scheduled to play against Israel's Maccabi Haifa Legends team at Sami Ofer Stadium Haifa next week.


Millions of Shiite Muslims from around the world are expected to arrive in the city of Karbala in central Iraq this week. They will commemorate the end of the 40-day (Arba’een) mourning period, following Ashura, the religious ritual that marks the martyrdom of Hussein in 680 A.D., the grandson of the Islamic prophet Muhammad and the third Shia Muslim Imam.

On this occasion, Iranian forces will enter Iraqi territory under the pretext of providing security to the pilgrims. Many Iraqis view this as a concerning move and more evidence of Iran’s increasing involvement in their country.

This week we are also keeping an eye on these developing stories:

  • … Is Saudi Arabia pandering to the Palestinian Authority ahead of a potential peace deal with Israel?

  •  … New prophecy video asks, ‘How will Israel survive the prophetic War of Gog & Magog in the last days of human history?’

  • … Will Christian tourists begin to feel unwelcome in Israel?

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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