Bahrain literally rolled out a red carpet to greet Israeli and American officials arriving on the first-ever direct commercial flight from Tel Aviv to Manama, Bahrain, October 18.

That evening, Israeli National Security Council Director Meir Ben-Shabbat and Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani signed a joint communique on the establishment of diplomatic, peaceful and friendly relations between the Kingdom of Bahrain and the State of Israel.

An El Al plane prepares to take off for Bahrain, October 18, 2020. Photo courtesy of Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Government officials from each country signed memorandums of understanding (MOUs) regarding future cooperation in economy and trade, civil aviation, finance, telecommunications, information technologies, postal services, agriculture and foreign affairs.

Israel and Bahrain also agreed to waive visa requirements for diplomats and signed an MOU on cooperation between their chambers of commerce.

Israeli National Security Council Director Meir Ben-Shabbat, left, participated in signing ceremonies in Bahrain on October 18, 2020. Photo by Haim Zach/GPO

Also on October 18, an Israeli business delegation flew to the UAE for an Abraham Accords Business Summit.

The following day, Abu Dhabi-based Etihad became the first Gulf airline to operate a passenger flight to Israel. Etihad has launched a Hebrew-language website to make it easier for Israeli travelers to book reservations.