[QODLink]
Archive
Bahrain ends boycott of Israeli goods
Bahrain has repealed its economic boycott of Israel to comply with its free trade agreement with the United States, the Gulf state's foreign minister was quoted as saying.
Last Modified: 23 Sep 2005 13:02 GMT
Al Khalifa said the decision was to comply with US free trade deal
Bahrain has repealed its economic boycott of Israel to comply with its free trade agreement with the United States, the Gulf state's foreign minister was quoted as saying.

"Bahrain took the decision to end the boycott of Israeli goods because this is one of the conditions of the free trade agreement" with the United States, Bahrain's foreign minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Mubarak Al Khalifa, told the independent Arabic newspaper, Alwasat, in an interview in New York on Friday.

The minister did not say when the boycott was repealed.

Foreign Ministry officials could not be reached on Friday, the weekend holiday in the kingdom.

The practical effects of the minister's statement remain to be seen.

It was also unclear whether Israeli business executives would be allowed to enter the kingdom.

The move makes Bahrain the first of the six Arab states of the Gulf to abolish its trade boycott of Israel, although others, such as Qatar and Oman, have taken limited steps in that direction.

Thaw in relations

"Bahrain took the decision to end the boycott of Israeli goods because this is one of the conditions of the free trade agreement"

Sheikh Mohammed bin Mubarak Al Khalifa,
Bahraini foreign minister

The repeal coincides with signs of a thaw in relations between Israel and Arab and Muslim states following its withdrawal from the Gaza Strip.

Earlier this month, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf met Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in New York, and the Israeli foreign minister held talks with his Qatari and Tunisian counterparts on the margins of the UN summit there.

Only three Arab states have full diplomatic relations with Israel at present: Egypt, Jordan and Mauritania.

Bahrain, which hosts the base of the US Navy's 5th Fleet, signed the free trade deal with the United States last year, becoming the first Gulf state to do so.

Source:
AFP
Topics in this article
Country
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
Your chance to be an investigative journalist in Al Jazeera’s new interactive game.
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Featured
Private citizens take initiative to help 'irregular' migrants, accusing governments of excessive focus on security.
Indonesia's cassava plantations are being killed by mealybugs, and thousands of wasps have been released to stop them.
Violence in Ain al-Arab has prompted many Kurdish Syrians to flee to Turkey, but others are returning to battle ISIL.
Unelected representatives quietly iron out logistics of massive TPP and TTIP deals among US, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.
Led by students concerned for their future with 'nothing to lose', it remains to be seen who will blink first.