Israel, U.S. officials fly to Bahrain to advance diplomatic ties

An Israeli-American delegation departed from Tel Aviv on Sunday en route to Manama, where they will sign a deal to advance full diplomatic relations between Israel and Bahrain.

The El Al flight 973, dubbed after the international dialing code for Bahrain, departed from the Ben Gurion Airport outside Tel Aviv and will pass through Saudi Arabia’s air space.

The joint delegation includes Israel’s National Security Council head Meir Ben-Shabbat and U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin, according to a statement issued by the Israeli foreign office.

The direct commercial flight will land in Manama, where officials from the three countries are expected to speak at a ceremony and sign several agreements, including a joint statement on establishing full formal ties between Israel and Bahrain.

The move comes after a U.S.-brokered normalization deal between Bahrain and Israel was signed at the White House on Sept. 15.