Herzog leaves for historic presidential visit to the Kingdom of Bahrain
Herzog leaves for historic presidential visit to the Kingdom of BahrainPhoto: Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO

President Isaac Herzog departed this morning to the Kingdom of Bahrain, for a State Visit at the invitation of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. President Herzog will be the first Israeli head of state to visit Bahrain.

Prior to departure, the President said: “This is another historic step in the relationship between Israel and Arab states, signed with the Abraham Accords, and another step toward more and more nations joining the circle of peace with the State of Israel. I will be the guest of the King of Bahrain and his government, and I hope to discuss issues of mutual interest. I am bringing with me a delegation of people from the industry and economy. The economy of Bahrain is growing rapidly, it’s very impressive, and it’s a strong economic nation in the region.

“Tomorrow I will be the guest of the President of the United Arab Emirates, who is launching a unique conference on cooperation on space issues. Israel and the UAE are both regional powers in this field, and if one looks ahead, one sees an incredible vista of cooperation between so many industries of Israel, the UAE, Bahrain, and other nations that have signed the Abraham Accords, with the hope of including more and more nations in future.

“Predominantly, my visit is a visit of peace. Amid protests and other dissenting voices, the fact that today in the main paper and website in Bahrain, there is an article of mine bringing and delivering a message of peace is another step toward the inclusion of Israel in the region built on cooperation for the wellbeing of the nations of the region. Inshallah, we will bring another step toward peace.”

During the State Visit, the President will visit the Bahraini capital of Manama, where he will hold meetings with the King, kingdom officials, and members of the Jewish community, and he will visit the Bahrain Economic Board of Development together with representatives of Israeli economic bodies.

The President is joined by an Israeli economic delegation, comprising Ron Tomer, President of the Manufacturers Association of Israel; Nili Shalev, CEO of the Israel Export Institute; Amiram Appelbaum, Chairman of the Israel Innovation Authority; Amir Shani, Vice President of the Federation of Israeli Chambers of Commerce; Avi Hasson, CEO of Start-Up Nation Central; Nir Deutsch, Director of the Foreign Trade and International Affairs Division at the Manufacturers Association of Israel; Sabine Segal, Deputy Director for International Business Affairs, Israel Export Institute; Yariv Becher, Vice President for Innovation Diplomacy at Start-Up Nation Central; Pniel Rosenthal, Chief of Staff to the Chairman of the Israel Innovation Authority.

Tomorrow (Monday, 5 December), President Herzog will proceed to the United Arab Emirates, where he will attend the Abu Dhabi Space Debate and meet with UAE President HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. This will be the President’s fourth meeting with President bin Zayed since entering office. During the visit, the leaders will discuss strengthening relations, the importance of peace, and ways to expand bilateral cooperation.

Expected schedule of the first day of the visit - Sunday, 4 December 2022

10:00 IST/11:00 AST: President Isaac Herzog will be welcomed to Bahrain with an honor guard and will meet with Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani.

11:30 IST/12:30 AST: President Herzog will be received with a State Welcoming Ceremony at the Al-Qudaibiya Palace, where he will meet with His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and His Royal Highness Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Bahrain.

15:00 IST/16:00 AST: President Herzog will meet with representatives of the Jewish community in Bahrain.

18:00 IST/19:00 AST: The President and members of the economic delegation will visit the Bahrain Economic Development Board.