Israel’s Defense Minister Benny Gantz Makes Surprise Visit to Bahrain, Will Sign Arms Agreements
Israel’s Defense Minister Benny Gantz landed in Bahrain on Wednesday afternoon for an unannounced visit. Gantz will sign Israel’s first Memorandum of Understanding with Bahrain, formalizing defense cooperation and other defense-related relations between the two countries, during what is reported to be a two-day visit. The MOU is also reported to include several arms agreements. Israel and Bahrain normalized ties in 2020 as part of the US-brokered Abraham Accords. Gantz is reportedly also scheduled to meet with King Hamad bin Isa bin Salman and to visit the US Navy’s 5th Fleet, which is based in Bahrain. The Israeli Navy currently is participating in the International Maritime Exercise, a maritime drill led by US Naval Forces Central Command and the 5th Fleet, with troops and ships from more than 60 militaries and international organizations.