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Bahrain’s move to welcome Israeli minister betrayal of Palestinians: Iran

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Abdullatif al-Zayani (R) and his Israeli counterpart Yair Lapid greet after signing bilateral agreements in the Bahraini capital, Manama, September 30, 2021. (Photo by AFP)

Iran has censured Bahrain’s welcoming Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid to Manama, saying the move amounts to a betrayal of the oppressed Palestinian people.

“The Bahraini government’s welcoming of the foreign minister of the fake Zionist regime is a blatant betrayal of the oppressed and resilient Palestinian people’s cause,” Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said in a post on his official Twitter account on Friday. He added that Iran only recognizes one country named Palestine with al-Quds as its capital.

The top Iranian diplomat expressed confidence that the presence of Israel in the region would result in nothing but insecurity for Bahrain and the entire region.

Lapid arrived in Bahrain on Thursday to open the Israeli embassy in Manama and sign cooperation deals with the Arab country. He met Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and Crown Prince and Prime Minister Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa. Lapid’s visit to Bahrain is aimed at advancing the US-pushed normalization deals between Israel and a number of Arab countries, including the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco.

The Israeli minister has already opened the Israeli embassy in Abu Dhabi and promised to establish the regime’s embassy in Rabat soon. However, Sudan’s foreign minister said over the weekend that her country has no plans to open an Israeli embassy in Khartoum.

In a statement on Friday, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said Bahrain’s “despicable” welcoming of the Israeli minister is at odds with the will of the Bahraini people, stressing that the visit left an “un-removable stain” on the reputation of the rulers of the Persian Gulf country.

Bahraini protesters on Thursday staged nationwide rallies to express implacable opposition to the visit. The demonstrators poured into the streets of the capital Manama to protest Lapid’s visit as they carried banners in condemnation of normalization with Tel Aviv, and set ablaze Israeli flags in rejection of the trip.


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