A team of Israel’s delegation has cancelled its scheduled official visit to Bahrain to attend US-based Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) due to security concerns, the event organizers said on Sunday, amid extensive street protests in Bahrain against the visit.
According to Dawn news reports, Israel’s economy ministry spokesperson stated a scheduled visit to Bahrain this week by Israel’s economy minister Eli Cohen has been “delayed because of political issues”.
The Gulf Arab nations and Israel has been in the midst of the diplomatic push aiming to forge an alliance against Iran. Their efforts became public years after of covert contact due to opposition to Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories.
A team of Israeli government officials and some 30 business executives were slated to attend the GEN event in Bahrain from April 15 to 18, which has prompted an outcry in Bahrain, with the parliament calling for street protests in Manama and the visits to be cancelled.
In an official statement, the GEN chief Jonathan Ortmans stated: “While we advised the Israeli delegation they would be welcome, they decided this morning not to come due to security concerns and a wish not to cause disruption for the other 180 nations participating.”
The Bahraini government stated Israeli delegation group has been invited at GEN event. In a statement, the government stated, “Our responsibility is to ensure a safe and supportive environment for the attending delegations.”
Last week, some Bahraini lawyers tried to move court to put an end to immigration authorities issuing visas. Lawmakers has said Bahrain’s parliament announced that the people of Bahrain “rejects any Israeli presence” on its territory and its lands and any decision allowing this presence is “unacceptable”.