In the latest sign of warming ties between Israel and the Gulf States, Israel’s Minister of the Economy and Industry Eli Cohen was invited to Bahrain to participate in an international conference, Ynet reported Sunday.
The Startup Nations Ministerial conference, which is held under the auspices of the World Bank and the Global Entrepreneurship Network, had previously been held in Milan, Istanbul, Johannesburg and Medellin.
The general goal of the conferences is to give ministers of the participating nations a chance to “discuss ways to accelerate the creation of jobs and increase economic growth by encouraging entrepreneurship,” according to Ynet.
The purpose of the conference in Bahrain is to “explore how governments can prepare for integration of technology within existing regulatory frameworks,” the article said.
In recent weeks, signs of the thaw between Israel and the Gulf States have been reported in the news.
As part of the International Judo Federation’s Abu Dhabi Grand Slam, Israel’s culture and sports minister, Miri Regev, paid a historic visit to the United Arab Emirates last month. In a moving ceremony, Israel’s national anthem – Hatikvah – was played for the first time, after the Israeli team took gold. The minister also toured the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi, where she signed the guest book in Hebrew.
Last month, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu embarked on a groundbreaking visit to Oman, where he met with Sultan Sayyid Qaboos bin Said al Said. Oman later called on the Arab world to recognize Israel’s right to exist.
Subsequently, Israeli Transport Minister, Yisrael Katz, attended the World Congress of the International Road Transport Union in Oman and presented plans for a railway linking Israel to the Persian Gulf.
Earlier this year, Bahrain had officially supported Israel’s right to defend itself against Iranian aggression.
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