With landmark visit to Bahrein, EJP initiates a new dialogue with the Muslim World

For the first time a delegation from an influential Jewish organisation, the European Jewish Parliament, made a landmark visit to the Kingdom of Bahrain, one of the most dynamic economies in the Middle East, earlier this week.

The delegation was led by Vadim Rabinovych and Joël Rubinfeld, Co-Chairmen of the European Jewish Parliament (EJP), together with MEJP's from Great-Britain, Germany, France, Belgium, Turkey and Ukraine.

The visit was at the invitation of the Kingdom of Bahrain in the framework of an intercultural and interreligious dialogue that started earlier this year in Brussels during the European Jewish Parliament General Assembly.

«We are delighted to start a dialogue with the European Jewish Union and the European Jewish Parliament, which represents many countries, and we understand that this is the first and very meaningful step in a new approach of development of the Middle East relations», stated the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bahrain, Khalid Bin Ahmed Bin Mohammed Al Khalifa.

Minister Al Khalifa said the initiative was «fully supported» by the Bahraini royal family, who understand the «necessity of finding new, alternative and broad ways for peace, co-operation and interdenominational dialogue in our region».

Vadim Rabinovych explained that «politics often bring realities to a standstill. We decided to launch a public dialogue between countries and those who believe in tolerance and peace. We believe this is the 'call of the hour'».

The two-day visit was marked by a busy programme of talks with the Kingdom’s leaders regarding various political initiatives and economic co-operation for both parties.

The top-level Jewish delegation also met with the local Jewish community of Bahrain in Manama, which consists of just 37 people, most of whom are the descendants of immigrants from Iraq whose families have lived in the Gulf island country since ancient times.

The community is headed by Nancy Khadoury who is also a member of the Shura, the upper house of the Bahraini Parliament.

Initiated by the European Jewish Union (EJU) and inaugurated earlier this year, the European Jewish Parliament (EJP) is an innovative forum voicing the thoughts, beliefs and ideas as well as concerns of European Jews.

Article de European Jewish Press publié le 25 octobre 2012.