Defense Minister Benny Gantz landed Wednesday afternoon (Feb. 2, 2022) in Manama, Bahrain for an official visit to the Kingdom.
The defense minister traveled to the Gulf kingdom in an Israel Air Force Ra’am tanker aircraft, the first-ever to land in Bahrain. The aircraft flew to Manama through Saudi Arabia’s airspace.
Gantz was welcomed in a ceremony at Bahrain International Airport by his Bahraini counterpart, Minister of Defense Affairs, H.E. Lieutenant-General Abdullah Bin Hassan Al Nuaimi.
The two men are expected to sign a Memorandum of Understanding together with the country’s Chief of Staff, Theyab bin Saqer Al Nuaimi.
The agreement will cement security cooperation between Israel and Bahrain, formalizing defense relations and including a number of arms agreements and other sales of defense-related items, The Jerusalem Post reported.
The MOU will also enable increased cooperation in other fields.
Throughout the visit, Gantz will meet with high-ranking officials in the Bahraini defense establishment as well as with the country’s leadership, including King Hamad bin Isa bin Salman himself, Crown Prince and Prime Minister Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa and Defense Minister Abdullah Bin Hassan Al Noaimi.
Gantz will be joined by Israeli Navy Admiral David Sa’ar Salame and Director of Defense Policy and Political-Military bureau chief Zohar Plati in a visit to the US Navy Fifth Fleet, which is based in Bahrain, and meet with its Commander Brad Cooper.
The minister’s Chief of Staff, Maayan Israeli and Military Secretary Brig.-Gen. Yaki Dolf are also participating in the delegation.