International Conference in Bahrain the BBC Chose to Ignore


Photo Credit: public image

{Originally posted to the BBC Watch website}

BBC audiences heard relatively little about the summit held in Warsaw last February and even less about the subsequent meetings of various working groups formed at that international conference.


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A meeting of the Maritime and Aviation Security Working Group was held in Bahrain on October 21st and 22nd.

“A senior Israeli official took part in a security conference in Bahrain on Monday, in a fresh sign of warming ties between Israel and some Arab states.

Dana Benvenisti-Gabay, the head of the Foreign Ministry’s regional security and counter-terrorism department, represented Israel at the conference in Manama, known as the Working Group on Maritime and Aviation Security.

The meeting, co-hosted by Bahrain, the US and Poland, is part of the so-called Warsaw Process, which started with the Ministerial to Promote a Future of Peace and Security in the Middle East that took place in the Polish capital earlier this year. […]

In a speech Monday before the meeting of 60 nations, Bahraini Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa mentioned the recent attacks on Saudi oil infrastructure and on ships in the region, which have been blamed on Iran.”

The Times of Israel notes that:

“The two-day Bahrain conference was not the first time Israeli and Arab officials sat together in the context of the Warsaw process. On October 8, an Israeli representative sat with colleagues from Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen and other Arab states at a conference on cybersecurity in Seoul.

Three days later, Benjamin Krasna, Israel’s deputy ambassador to the US, participated in the Warsaw working group on human rights in Washington, which was also attended by many Arab countries.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attended the original Warsaw conference in February, along with senior dignitaries from the Arab world.”

Readers may recall that this time last year BBC World Service radio audiences were told that relations between Israel and Arab states were a ‘narrative’ promoted by Israel’s prime minister:

“…there’s a sort of Israeli narrative that – particularly pushed by Netanyahu – that says Israel is really doing well with the neighbourhood, particularly the Gulf States.”

“…Netanyahu is pushing this narrative of we can build good relations with our Arab neighbours and that’s good for Israel in the Middle East.” [emphasis in bold added]

Curiously, the BBC has to date not found this particular international meeting in Bahrain worthy of any news coverage.


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