Bahrain's first ambassador to Israel arrives to assume post

Khaled Yousef Al Jalahma joins UAE counterpart Mohamed Al Khaja in Tel Aviv

Ambassador Khaled Yousif Al-Jalahma, Bahrain ambassador to Israel. Courtesy Kingdom of Bahrain Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Khaled Yousef Al Jalahma became Bahrain's first ambassador to Israel on Tuesday, a year after a historic deal was signed to normalise ties with Israel.

Under the Abraham Accords, which former US president Donald Trump helped broker in August last year and signed on the White House lawn in September 2020, the UAE and Bahrain agreed to officially establish relations with Israel on condition it suspended the planned annexation of parts of the occupied West Bank and Jordan Valley.

“The opportunity to fulfil ... King Hamad Al Khalifa’s vision of peaceful coexistence with all nations is a privilege that I will hold in high regard,” Mr Al Jalahma said before landing in Tel Aviv.

The Bahraini diplomat posted pictures on Twitter of his touchdown in the Israeli capital.

"A historic journey in the making accompanied by my wife. We are both very excited!" he said.

Mr Al Jalahma landed at Ben Gurion International Airport where he was greeted by Gil Haskel, chief of state protocol at Israel's Foreign Ministry.

The Bahraini diplomat served as the foreign ministry's director of operations and before that was deputy chief of mission at Bahrain’s embassy to the US from 2009 to 2013.

Last November, Bahrain and Israel agreed to open embassies in their respective capitals.

Israel named Itay Tagner as its charge d'affaires to Bahrain and Eitan Naeh as charge d’affaires to the UAE in January.

In February, Mohamed Al Khaja was named the UAE's first ambassador to Israel.

Last month, Mr Al Khaja took part in an inauguration ceremony in Tel Aviv with Israeli President Isaac Herzog to officially open the Emirati embassy in Israel.

Morocco and Sudan also joined Bahrain and the UAE in officially establishing relations with Israel.

Updated: September 1st 2021, 8:04 AM
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