Middle East Eye / September 3, 2023
Eli Cohen’s trip coincides with growing speculation about an impeding normalization deal between Israel and Saudi Arabia.
Eli Cohen was accompanied by a political and commercial delegation, and is scheduled to meet Bahrain’s king as well as his counterpart in Manama during the two-day trip.
Cohen’s trip comes less than two weeks before the third anniversary of the accords in mid-September.
Despite now having steady ties, Bahrain and the UAE have joined other Gulf Arab states in issuing a series of condemnations against Israel this year.
The storming of Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem and raids by Israeli forces on the city of Nablus and the Palestinian camp of Jenin in the occupied West Bank were among the Israeli moves that sparked a Gulf outcry.
Cohen’s trip coincides with growing speculation about an impeding normalization deal between Israel and Saudi Arabia, which is not a signatory to the [so-called] Abraham Accords.
Riyadh and Washington have held talks on Saudi conditions for progress on normalization, according to people briefed on the meetings.
The announcement sparked protests in Libya, which does not recognize Israel, and led to the dismissal of Najla al-Mangoush as foreign minister.
Israel later denied that it had been the source of the announcement.