U.S. sending delegation to Bahrain, Israel for first direct flight

·1-min read
Berkowitz at a press briefing on the Israel-UAE agreement at the White House in Washington
Berkowitz at a press briefing on the Israel-UAE agreement at the White House in Washington

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump's Middle East envoy, Avi Berkowitz, will lead a U.S. delegation to Bahrain and Israel this week to discuss expanded economic cooperation between the two countries, a senior White House official said on Monday.

Berkowitz, part of a team led by Trump senior adviser Jared Kushner to help negotiate the Bahrain-Israel deal, will join Bahraini officials on the first-ever direct commercial flight from Bahrain to Israel.

The flight on Wednesday will depart Manama and arrive in Tel Aviv, where the U.S. and Bahraini delegations will participate in meetings with senior Israeli officials.

The Trump administration has helped broker normalization deals between Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan.

Trump national security adviser Robert O'Brien told the Global Security Forum on Monday that he hoped the incoming administration of Democrat Joe Biden, should he be certified as winner of the Nov. 3 presidential election, would pursue more such deals between Israel and Arab nations.

.

(Reporting by Steve Holland; Editing by Peter Cooney)