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September 14, 2020 12:24 pm

Israeli, Bahraini Defense Ministers Hold First Phone Call

avatar by Reuters and Algemeiner Staff

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz. Photo: Adina Valman / Knesset Spokesperson’s Office / Handout via Reuters.

The defense ministers of Israel and Bahrain held their first publicly‐acknowledged phone call on Monday since their countries agreed to normalize ties.

Bahraini state news agency BNA and a spokeswoman for Israel‘s Defense Ministry said Bahrain’s minister of defense affairs, Abdulla bin Hassan Al-Nuaimi, and Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz had spoken as Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates prepared to sign agreements with Israel in Washington, DC, on Tuesday.

The ministers discussed the importance of the agreement for regional stability and “common expectations for establishing a close partnership between the two defense ministries,” the BNA statement said.

Gantz invited the Bahraini minister to make an official visit to Israel, and the two agreed to continue their dialogue, a statement from Gantz’s office said.

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Earlier on Monday, BNA said Bahrain’s industry and trade minister and Israel‘s regional cooperation minister had spoken by phone and discussed trade, industry and tourism cooperation between the two countries.

Normalization will “positively impact both countries’ economies,” BNA said.

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