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Israeli delegation cancels visit to Bahrain conference

April 15, 2019 3:27 P.M. (Updated: April 16, 2019 2:17 P.M.)
TEL AVIV (Ma'an) -- A delegation from Israel was due to attend a conference in Bahrain this week, however, pulled out due to security concerns after Bahrainis held a campaign against the visit, on Sunday.

A spokesperson for Israel's Economy Ministry said a planned visit to Bahrain this week by Israel's Economy Minister, Eli Cohen, had been "delayed because of political issues."

A group of around 30 Israeli business executives and government officials was scheduled to participate in a congress organized by the United States, based Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) in Bahrain, on April 15-18th.

Moreover, this prompted an outcry in Bahrain, with parliament joining calls on social media for the visit to be cancelled and several street protests held in Manama, Bahrain’s capital.

Jonathan Ortmans, GEN president, said in a statement, "While we advised the Israeli delegation they would be welcome, they decided this morning not to come due to security concerns and a wish not to cause disruption for the other 180 nations participating."

The Bahraini government said the Israeli delegation was invited at the sole initiative of the GEN, saying "Our responsibility is to ensure a safe and supportive environment for the attending delegations.”

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