Bahraini king sends delegation to Israel for ‘peace’: Paper

A Bahraini delegation has arrived in Israel with a message from the country’s king, in the latest instance of warming ties between the two sides, The Times of Israel reports.

The Israeli paper said Sunday that 24 members of the “This is Bahrain” group, which professes campaigning for “religious freedom,” traveled to Israel this week for a four-day visit.

“The king sent us with a message of peace to the whole world,” a member on the group was quoted as saying about the visit.

In September, Israeli media said Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifah had called at an event hosted by pro-Israeli group Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles for an end to the Arab boycott of Israel, and the establishment of diplomatic ties with Tel Aviv.

Israeli tourists and businessmen have been traveling to Bahrain in recent years. The Israeli daily cited a prominent rabbi, who had met with the king, as saying that the monarch intended to allow citizens from his kingdom to visit Israel freely.

Last year, the tiny kingdom became the only Persian Gulf country to publicly mourn the death of former Israeli president Shimon Peres.

Also in 2016, Bahraini officials raised eyebrows by hosting and participating in the Israeli Hanukkah celebration.

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