Bahrain Foreign Minister, Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, held the first interview with Israeli media on the sidelines of the “Peace to Prosperity” workshop held in Bahrain.
Al Khalifa told “The Times of Israel” that Bahrain sees the US-led economic workshop taking place in Manama this week as a possible “game changer” tantamount in its scope to the 1978 Camp David peace agreement between Israel and Egypt, stressing Israel’s right to exist.
“We see it as very, very important,” he said stressing that his country recognizes Israel’s right to exist, knows that it is “there to stay,” and wants peace with it.
He said the US-organized conference which took place in Bahrain is focused on the economic aspects of the Trump administration’s Israeli-Palestinian peace plan, adding that it could be like Egyptian president Anwar Sadat’s visit to Jerusalem in 1977, which helped pave the way to the Camp David Accords and the normalizing of relations between Egypt and Israel.
“As much as Camp David 1 was a major game changer, after the visit of President Sadat — if this succeeds, and we build on it, and it attracts attention and momentum, this would be the second game changer,” Al Khalifa said.
“Israel is a country in the region… and it’s there to stay, of course,” he said.
“Who did we offer peace to [with] the [Arab] Peace Initiative? We offered it to a state named the State of Israel, in the region. We did not offer it to some faraway island or some faraway country,” Khalifa continued, referring to a Saudi-backed peace framework.