Israel and Bahrain launch talks to negotiate a free trade agreement

Israel and Bahrain launch talks to negotiate a free trade agreement
Israel and Bahrain normalised relations in 2020 and have now begun talks for a free trade agreement
2 min read
20 September, 2022
Barbivai held talks with her Bahraini counterpart in Manama [Getty]

Israel and Bahrain on Tuesday launched talks to negotiate a free trade agreement, nearly two years after a controversial deal to normalise relations.

Israeli Economy Minister Orna Barbivai met with her Bahraini counterpart Salman bin Khalifa Al Khalifa in Manama to start talks aimed at removing trade barriers between the two countries, the “Israel in the Gulf” Twitter account said.

"A free trade agreement with Bahrain comes within the framework of strengthening broader regional cooperation and will…increase the volume of investments, remove trade barriers, and provide opportunities for businessmen and companies in Israel and Bahrain," Barbivai said.

Israel and Bahrain have already inked a number of deals – including one related defence - since officially establishing ties.

As part of the 2020 US-brokered Abraham Accords, the United Arab Emirates and Morocco also normalised ties with Israel, and there have been reports of more Arab and Muslim countries potentially following suit in the future.

The deals were slammed by Palestinians and pro-Palestine activists around the world, who said that they rewarded Israel as it continued to occupy the West Bank and besiege the Gaza Strip. 

Public opinion polls in the Arab world have also shown overwhelming opposition to the normalisation of ties with Israel.