Israel, Bahrain announce e-visa system for free travel

SourceKhaleej Times

Bahrain and Israel said on Wednesday they would open embassies, establish online visa systems and launch weekly flights between the countries soon, in a broadened cooperation promoted by Washington as an economic boon and means of isolating Iran. On the first official visit by Bahraini officials to Israel, the Gulf kingdom's foreign minister, Abdullatif Al Zayani, said a Sept. 15 deal normalising relations spelled "a warm peace that will deliver clear benefits to our peoples". The UAE, which has also normalised ties with Israel, sent a delegation last month that did not leave Ben Gurion Airport in what was described as a coronavirus precaution. The Bahraini envoys went on to Jerusalem, which Israel, with US backing, considers its capital. Palestinians want East Jerusalem for a hoped-for state. Al Zayani's trip coincided with a visit to Israel by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who hailed the regional rapprochement brokered by the Trump administration as it presses sanctions against Iran. The normalisation deals "tell malign actors like the Islamic Republic of Iran that their influence in the region is waning and that they are ever more isolated and shall forever be until they change their direction," Pompeo said alongside his Bahraini counterpart and Israeli Prime Minister more...