European Jewish Parliament in Bahrain
European Jewish Parliament in Bahrain:
European Jewish Parliament leaders have hailed their recent official visit to Bahrain and called for further public diplomacy initiatives in order to promote greater interfaith communication in the region. The visit came within the framework of a bilateral dialogue which began when a high-level Bahraini delegation attended the European Jewish Parliament’s General Assembly in Brussels earlier this year. This was the first visit of its kind to the Gulf state kingdom, and both sides welcomed the chance to engage in face-to-face dialogue and establish new channels of interfaith communication.
While in Manama, EJP delegates from Britain, France, Germany, Turkey and Ukraine held a series of meetings with Bahraini Cabinet Ministers, touching on a wide range of issues including the regional threat posed by an atomic Iran and opportunities for greater intercultural dialogue, as well as possible collaboration on a ground-breaking interfaith forum which would bring together representatives of the global Jewish and Muslim communities.
Bahraini Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa called the delegation’s visit ‘a meaningful step’ and spoke of the importance of developing new channels of direct and informal communication as part of ongoing efforts to foster greater interfaith understanding. European Jewish Parliament Co-Chair Vadim Rabinovich honoured Minister Al Khalifa with an EJU Interfaith Award – on behalf of European Jewish Union President Ihor Kolomoiskiy – for his work promoting interfaith cooperation.
EJP delegates were also treated to a full cultural programme — dining with members of Bahrain’s small but well-established Jewish community and enjoying a behind-the-scenes tour of the island nation’s pride and joy — its Formula One grand prix complex. Bahraini and European Jewish Parliament officials are next expected to meet at the EJP’s forthcoming General Assembly in Brussels.