The foreign minister of Bahrain stated that he held discussions with his Palestinian counterpart and made the stand clear after the trade minister said that Manama would be unable to tell the difference.
On Saturday, Bahrain’s foreign minister remarked that Bahrain will separate Israeli items from conflicted areas, and the ones that are genuinely made in Israel. The comments were contrary to a statement that the trade minister of the Gulf kingdom made previously in the week.
Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani, the Foreign Minister of Bahrain, addressed a Manama security conference and stated that on Friday, he talked to Riyad al-Maliki, the Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister, and confirmed Bahrain’s stand on the import of items from Golan and the West Bank settlements.
According to Al Zayani, ‘Yesterday a clear statement indicating our stand was presented.’
On Friday evening, Bahrain’s Industry, Trade, and Tourism Ministry released a statement showing that comments that the trade minister made the previous day had been ‘distorted’ and that Manama was still ‘loyal to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and UN Arab League decisions about the Golan Heights, and the West Bank settlements.’
The United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334, which was endorsed in 2016 indicates that all states should ‘differentiate, in their crucial dealings between the areas occupied from 1967, and the State of Israel territory.’
The ministry stated this after Zayed R. Alzayani, Minister of Industry, Commerce, and Tourism informed reporters on Thursday in Jerusalem that all the items and services that Israelis provided, will be treated as Israel goods, saying that even items from the Golan and the West Bank would not need special labels.
When The Times of Israel enquired whether products from Golan Heights and the West Bank settlements were allowed in Bahrain, and can be sold as ‘Israel goods’ Alzayani said yes.
‘We will, therefore, not delve into the specifics; however, we will identify them as Israeli goods. Hopefully, all Bahraini goods will be identified in Israel as Bahraini goods. To be honest, I am unable to discern which area, city, or place it was sourced from or manufactured,’ stated Alzayani.
A top member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization instantly renounced his stand and said it went against the international agreement. Also, Wasel Abu Youssef requested Arab Nations not to import Israel goods to stop it from ‘extending into Arab markets to make its economy more powerful,’ said Reuters.
The stand of Bahrain’s minister seemed to comply with the latest US regulations, which require that all items manufactured in places where Israel controls civilians, such as West Bank settlements, be labeled ‘Made in Israel’ or ‘Product of Israel.’
But, from 2015, the European Union policy stipulates that items created by Israelis in the Golan, East Jerusalem, and the West Bank should be labeled as such. It prohibits them from being sold as Israeli products. Different states like South Africa have established the same labeling guidelines.
On Tuesday, Alzayani visited Israel as the head of a delegation made up of 40 officials and business people. It was the second visit the Bahrain minister made to Israel in the same number of weeks. He held an audience with Benjamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister, and numerous cabinet ministers and deliberated about how to improve bilateral trade.
His visit took place two weeks after the foreign minister in Bahrain became the small Gulf kingdom’s first minister to visit the Jewish nation.