Bahrain denies media reports of links with Israel

An Israeli media report quoted a Bahraini official as saying that the Gulf state plans to establish ‘diplomatic relations with Israel’

Bahrain has denied media reports that it is planning to establish diplomatic relations with Israel, the official Bahrain News Agency (BNA) has reported.

The reports are “merely false allegations” and there was no statement from Bahraini officials in this regard, the report said.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs affirmed in a statement Bahrain’s full commitment to the unified Arab stance and Arab peace initiative, which set out the foundations of a comprehensive and just peace in the region,” it added.

On Wednesday, Israeli TV channel i24NEWS quoted an unnamed Bahraini official as saying that the kingdom would be “the first Gulf state to establish diplomatic relations with Israel”.

“Bahrain does not view Israel as an enemy,” the official reportedly said, adding that rapprochement between the two nations “will not contradict the principles of Bahrain.”

The report said the remarks came ahead of an official visit by an Israeli delegation to Bahrain next week for a meeting of the World Heritage Committee organized by UNESCO.

The GCC states do not have any diplomatic relations with Israel.