'An Israeli delegation of merchants and officials has canceled its planned participation in a business conference in Bahrain amid growing national outcry over the Persian Gulf kingdom’s warming ties with the Tel Aviv regime following years of clandestine contacts.
A spokeswoman for Israel’s Economy Ministry said a planned visit to Bahrain this week by Israel’s Economy Minister Eli Cohen had been “delayed because of political issues.”
A group of around 30 Israeli business executives and regime officials was scheduled to participate in the event, which is organized by the US- based Global Entrepreneurship Network and will run in Manama from April 15 to 18.
At least three Israeli speakers, including the Israel Innovation Authority’s deputy chief, Anya Eldan, were scheduled to speak at the event.
“While we advised the Israeli delegation they would be welcome, they decided this morning not to come due to security concerns and a wish not to cause disruption for the other 180 nations participating,” the organization’s president Jonathan Ortmans told Reuters.
Earlier this month, Bahrain's most prominent Shia cleric Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassim strongly denounced the Manama regime’s decision to host an Israeli delegation in the business conference.
“Hosting and greeting the Zionists at the Global Entrepreneurship Congress, is a bold step on a dishonorable path; that of humiliation, capitulation and shamelessness,” he said in a statement carried by the Arabic-language Lua Lua television network.'
Read more: Israeli businessmen, officials cancel Bahrain visit amid national outcry