Yesterday, Wednesday, Chief of Staff of the Israeli Army Aviv Kohavi arrived in Bahrain to hold meetings with Bahraini officials and the commander of the US Fifth Fleet, as part of a visit that is the first of its kind and was not announced in advance.
The Bahrain News Agency said that the Bahraini Chief of Staff, Lieutenant-General Theyab bin Saqr Al-Nuaimi, received Kochavi upon his arrival at the airport on an official visit.
For its part, the Israeli army described – in a statement that Anatolia received a copy of – Kochavi’s visit to Bahrain as “historic.”
He added that Kohavi met his Bahraini counterpart, as well as the National Security Adviser and Secretary-General of Bahrain’s Supreme Defense Council Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa.
Kohavi is scheduled to meet “other officials in the Bahraini military and leadership, in addition to the commander of the US Fifth Fleet, Admiral Charles Brad Cooper, at the fleet’s headquarters in Bahrain,” according to the statement.
During the visit – whose duration was not disclosed – Kohavi was accompanied by Israeli military officials, including the head of the Strategy Committee and the Third Department – who is also the military official in charge of the Iran file – Tal Kalman, the head of the Foreign Relations Brigade, Evi Devrin, and the head of studies in the Intelligence (Military) Division Amit Sa’ar.
In September 2021, the relationship between the Israeli and US armies was transferred to the US Central Command (Centcom), after Israel was within the US European Command (Yukom).
“The shuttle visit, which was announced only after the chief of staff landed in Bahrain, comes against the backdrop of the nuclear agreement being prepared between Iran and the major powers (in the Geneva talks), which raises great concern in Israel,” the newspaper said.
And on February 14, the Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett visited – for the first time – Manama, and met with the country’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, and other officials, including the ministers of foreign affairs, industry and transportation.
Bennett’s visit to Bahrain was preceded by two visits by Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and Defense Minister Benny Gantz, during the past months.
Gantz and Bahraini Defense Affairs Minister Abdullah bin Hassan Al-Nuaimi signed a memorandum of understanding formalizing the security relations between the two sides.
In September 2020, Israel and Bahrain signed – in Washington – an agreement to normalize relations between them, under the auspices of then US President Donald Trump (2017-2021).