Watch: Israeli-American delegation departs for Bahrain

Israel, Bahrain to establish formal diplomatic relations at special ceremony in Manama later today. "We’re bringing the Bible back to life."

Mordechai Sones ,

המשלחת לבחריין
המשלחת לבחריין
צילום: חיים צח, לע''מ

The Israeli and American delegation arrived at Ben Gurion Airport Sunday morning to travel to Bahrain to formalize the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

The delegation will travel on the first commercial flight between Tel Aviv and Manama.

National Security Council head Meir Ben-Shabbat, who is leading the Israeli delegation to Bahrain, said prior to departure:

"I am excited and proud to head the Israeli delegation that is leaving today for talks in Bahrain. We are leaving for the talks in order to translate the peace declaration that was signed on the White House lawn by US President Donald Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Bahraini Foreign Minister Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani, on behalf of King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, into practical plans and concrete agreements.

"Today we will hold discussions in professional teams and working groups on a long series of issues: Finance and investments, trade and economy, tourism, aviation, communications, culture, science, technology, agriculture and others.

"We are excited and together we will pray that G-d might lead us to peace and that we might reach our destination for good life and peace."

"We're here in the land of Abraham to take the next step in the Abraham Accords," US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said, adding that "Abraham gave birth to 2 great nations" that were "rivals, but they reconciled some 3500 years ago. Today, we’re bringing the Bible back to life. The children of Isaac and Ishmael are reconciling once again."

"It's another historic day among many that the Trump administration has brought to this region."

Secretary of Treasury Steven Mnuchin thanked PM Netanyahu and the king of Bahrain “for their bold leadership, and for President Trump bringing this all together for this incredible day in this momentous time with the Abraham Accords and the peace treaty.”

US envoy Avi Berkowitz added in Hebrew that he was "very excited to be in Israel to travel on El Al with the Israeli delegation and to return to Israel on Tuesday with the Emirati delegation."

After the official text is signed at a ceremony scheduled for Sunday evening, Israel and Bahrain will be free to open embassies in each other's countries.

Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates became the third and fourth Arab nations to sign a peace treaty with Israel in a ceremony at the White House in Washington DC earlier this month.