Bahrain appoints Khalid Yusuf Al-Jalahma as first ambassador to Israel
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Bahrain appoints Khalid Yusuf Al-Jalahma as first ambassador to Israel

Bahrain appoints Khalid Yusuf Al-Jalahma as first ambassador to Israel

On Tuesday, King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa also directed his country’s officials to set up a diplomatic mission within Israel

Khalid Yusuf Al-Jalahma Bahrain Ambassador Israel

Khalid Yusuf Al-Jalahma was appointed as the first Bahraini ambassador to Israel, state-run Bahrain News Agency reported on Tuesday.

Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa issued a Royal Decree 43/2021 appointing Al-Jalahma as the head of the kingdom’s diplomatic mission to Israel with immediate effect.

Al-Jalahama is the Director of Operations at Bahrain’s Foreign Ministry, and was the former deputy chief of mission at Bahrain’s Embassy to the US from 2009-2013.

On Tuesday, the king also directed his country’s officials to set up a diplomatic mission within Israel.

Israeli media have reported that a team from Bahrain are expected to arrive in Israel over the coming weeks to set up an embassy in Tel Aviv.

Israel’s foreign minister Gabi Ashkenazi has approved the appointment and has reportedly already spoken with his Bahraini counterpart Abdullatif bin Rashid Alzayani regarding the new ambassador.

During the call, Ashkenazi told Al Zayani: “The Bahraini government’s decision to appoint an ambassador to Israel is another important step towards implementing the peace agreement and strengthening the ties between the two countries.”

Rabbi Marc Schneier, who serves as special advisor to the King of Bahrain, added:“This is an historic day. In my many meetings with Gulf leaders over the last 12 years, no other Gulf leader than HM King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of Bahrain was so genuinely committed to establishing diplomatic relations with Israel.

In his words at a meeting at the Royal Palace in 2016, the ‘only hope for a strong moderate Arab voice is a strong Israel.’ The establishing of the Embassy of Bahrain in Israel and the appointment of H.E. Ambassador Khalid Al Jalahma will profoundly advance this new spirit of peace, cooperation and coexistence in the Middle East.”

On September 11, Bahrain joined the UAE when announcing that it would sign a peace deal with Israel.

Three days later, the UAE and Bahrain together signed a landmark peace agreement called the Abraham Accords with Israel at the White House, establishing full diplomatic relations with Israel.

Read: UAE, Bahrain sign historic peace accord with Israel in the US

In October, Bahrain and Israel signed several MoUs regarding economic and trade relations, telecommunications, commerce, air services, movement of people, banking and financial services, and cooperation between Ministries of Foreign Affairs.

Bahrain and Israel agreed to start operating direct commercial flights in 2021 and open mutual embassies. It came after trilateral talks were held in in Tel Aviv between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Bahrain’s foreign minister Alzayani, and US State Secretary Mike Pompeo.

Read also: Bahrain and Israel to begin direct flights, open embassies

Apart from Bahrain, the UAE too recently appointed its first-ever ambassador to Israel. Mohamed Mahmoud Al Khaja was sworn in as the first Emirati ambassador to Israel on February 14. He subsequently visited Israel and presented his credentials to President Reuven Rivlin.

Read more: UAE ambassador Mohamed Mahmoud Al Khaja meets Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin

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