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 published a column in the Bahraini press, ahead of his historic State Visit to the country today.

"This morning, as I fly to Bahrain for a historic State Visit, the first-ever visit by an Israeli head of state to Bahrain, I will be reflecting on how dramatically the Middle East has been transformed by Bahrain's bold decision to embrace a warm peace with Israel," President Herzog said.

He spoke of the child who was 10 when the Abraham Accords were signed and realized that a new, peaceful Middle East was possible. "That child is now twelve, and as His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa graciously welcomes me today to Bahrain, I will be thinking of that child, confident that his or her future will be brighter, safer, and more prosperous thanks to the partnership we deepen today."

"Today at the Al-Qudaibiya Palace, I will be conscious that His Majesty King Hamad is not only graciously welcoming me, personally: Bahrain has chosen to roll out the red carpet to a future of partnership, peace, and prosperity with my country," he said.

"Bahrain has a special place in our hearts, as an original signatory of the Abraham Accords. Its courageous decision two years ago, together with our friends in the UAE, to embrace a warm peace with Israel has already transformed our region; it has transformed our nations' relationship; and it must now transform the lives of all Israelis and Bahrainis alike.

"During my State Visit today, together with His Majesty the King and other leaders, we will be working on this task: making sure the benefits of regional friendly relations reach each and every Israeli and Bahraini.

He said that "the single greatest opportunity facing the Middle East is a warm peace with Israel—unlocking the latent potential of partnerships with our dynamic, vibrant economy. We cherish Bahrain as a trailblazer and pioneer in this regard, setting an example for the nations of our region."

President Herzog cited the climate crisis as one of the areas where Israel and Bahrain can cooperate for the benefit of each other and the region

"Our budding relationship is in many ways a reunion. Jews and Muslims are not strangers but family, sharing a common ancestor: Abraham, after whom our historic accords were named. Indeed, the warm and dignified home that Bahrain provides its Jewish community is a fine expression of our common ancestor's spirit of inclusion," he concluded.