Hundreds of Bahraini government officials and business leaders attended the Israeli Embassy’s Independence Day event on Thursday to celebrate the close relationship that has developed between the countries since the signing of the Abraham Accords.
Israeli actor and singer Tsahi Halevi, who starred in the hit television show Fauda, and Chef Doron Sasson participated in the program. Bahrain’s Ministry of Interior’s band played the Israeli and Bahraini national anthems. The event marks the first time that Israel has held a Yom Haatzmaut event in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.
This is the first such event of its kind following the opening of the embassy by Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid in September 2021. Ambassador Eitan Na’eh, Israel’s first Ambassador to the Kingdom, arrived in November 2021.
The evening focused on the advancement of the relationship between the two countries and included a recorded message from Foreign Minister Lapid and speeches Ambassador Dr. Sheikh Abdallah bin Ahmad Al Khalifa (Undersecretary in Bahrain’s Foreign Ministry), Ambassador Na’eh as well as a musical performance from Halevi. Chef Sasson prepared a special menu for the evening offering a fusion of Bahraini and Israeli dishes. Speeches highlighted the business, cultural and people-to-people opportunities between Israel and Bahrain.
Heads of major companies from Israel’s oil and gas, cyber, manufacturing, fintech, high-tech, pharmaceutical/biotech and logistics sectors were in attendance.
In his speech, Na’eh spoke about the vision shared by both governments regarding the opportunities for both nations and highlighted the economic activity between the two nations as well as investments and joint ventures which is projected to reach hundreds of millions within the next few years.
He noted that he anticipates hundreds of millions in volume and emphasized the advantages of agreements in the fields of medical research, technology and trade. He also spoke about the various Jewish and Israeli delegations which recently visited Bahrain including YPO and Israel Bonds who met with Bahrain’s government leaders as well as visited with business leaders and shared meals in their homes. He highlighted the opportunities in the higher education, technology and arts and culture space as well.
“Our Yom Haatzmaut reception shows the authentic, warm and genuine relationship between Israel and Bahrain – its leadership and people,” said Ambassador Na’eh. “The new Middle East is built upon a shared desire to cooperate in all areas from security to sustainable energy, water and food security to tourism and other areas.”