DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) – The head of Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency visited Bahrain to speak with officials on Thursday, Bahrain’s state news agency reported.
The trip came amid heightened tensions in the region over Iran and followed Israel’s recent agreement to normalize relations with the island kingdom.
The brief statement issued by the news agency said only that Yossi Cohen met with Bahrain’s heads of national intelligence and strategic security to discuss “the most prominent security issues, regional developments and matters of common concern.” He did not elaborate.
The two countries opened diplomatic ties last fall in a deal brokered by the United States under the Trump administration and following the decision by the United Arab Emirates to normalize relations. The pacts, rejected by the Palestinians as a betrayal of their cause by statehood, signaled an increasingly explicit alliance between the Arab Gulf states and Israel against the mutual archenemy Iran.
Indirect talks between the United States and Iran about the return of the 2015 Tehran nuclear deal with world powers, which former President Donald Trump abandoned, are now gaining ground in Vienna.
Israel and the Arab sheiks of the Gulf have previously expressed concern about a generous US approach with Iran that does not address the Islamic Republic’s ballistic missile program and support for regional representatives, in addition to its nuclear program.