Netanyahu’s Bahrain Trip Postponed to Late December

The skyline of Manam, capital of Bahrain. (Wadiia)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s trip to Bahrain was postponed on Wednesday night, at the Gulf kingdom’s request, according to media reports.

The trip, which would be the first-ever official visit to a Gulf state by an Israeli prime minister, will reportedly take place in late December instead of next week.

Bahrain asked Netanyahu to delay the visit until next month in order to incorporate it into a broader Gulf tour that would includes the United Arab Emirates, Israeli officials told the Walla news site.

A visit to the UAE had been proposed for early December, but that was nixed due to the country’s national day on December 2, which it was said would make it inconvenient. Netanyahu had proceeded to make plans for a visit to Bahrain, until they too requested a later date.

There was no comment on the report from either country’s foreign ministry.

However, Israel did confirm that Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi’s planned trip to Bahrain on December 3 will have to be rescheduled. That’s because Bahrain diplomatic protocol requires that a head of state or government invited by the crown prince must visit before other cabinet members may do so, a spokesman for Ashkenazi explained.