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Bahrain Nudges Israel’s New Government on Palestine  

Bahrain’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdullatif Al Zayani on Wednesday revealed his government had already contacted the new Israeli administration, barely four days old, to discuss the Palestinian issue and the prospects of a two-state solution. The communications are “driven by the kingdom’s approach, which is based on understanding, dialogue and cooperation among people,” Al Zayani said in a statement. Last September, Bahrain became the second Gulf nation to normalize relations with Jerusalem after the United Arab Emirates. On Monday, following Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s inauguration, Manama’s Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa congratulated the new premier and Foreign Minister and Alternate Prime Minister Yair Lapid, encouraging them to “strengthen the pillars of development, stability, and peace in the region and the world.” Israel’s patchwork coalition government, which incorporates far right, far left and Islamic parties, is hoping to sidestep controversial matters such as the Israel-Palestinian conflict, and instead focus on much-needed economic reforms.