The foreign minister of Bahrain has proposed forming a Middle Eastern regional organization that would include Israel, Iran and Arab nations.
Hana Levi Julian
The foreign minister of Bahrain has suggested forming a Middle Eastern regional organization that would include both Israel and Iran in addition to all the Arab nations.
Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmed al-Khalifa said in an interview published Wednesday in the Arabic daily newspaper al-Hayat that such an organization would be a good way to resolve the dispute between them.
One day earlier, al-Khalifa also made the recommendation in his speech to the United Nations' General Assembly, where he called for a Middle East organization that would include all the nations in the region "without exception."
Only Egypt and Jordan currently have peace treaties with the Jewish State, although Bahrain became the first Arab nation in the world to appoint a Jewish woman as its ambassador to WashingtonD.C. earlier this year.
The U.S. Naval Forces Central Command and the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet is stationed in Bahrain, a small island kingdom in the Persian Gulf strategically located east of Saudi Arabia and north of Qatar. The small American ally, which is also a member of the Arab league and the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, is ruled by Sunni Muslims, although populated by a Shi'ite majority.
The Bahraini foreign minister was quoted by al-Hayat as suggesting, "Why don't we all sit together even if we have differences and even if we don't recognize each other? Why not become one organization to overcome this difficult phase?"
Al-Khalifa recommended the group should include Turkey, which has been brokering indirect talks throughout the summer between Israel and Syria, as well as the rest of the nations in the region. "Let them all sit together in one group," he said. "This is the only path to solve our problems."