Gulf states hold naval exercise with Israel: U.S.

The five-day manoeuvres in the Red Sea are intended to “enhance interoperability between participating forces

Updated - November 11, 2021 09:51 pm IST

Published - November 11, 2021 09:50 pm IST - Manama

The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain are holding their first joint naval exercise with Israel, a year after normalising ties with the Jewish state, the U.S. Navy said on Thursday.

The five-day manoeuvres in the Red Sea, which is linked to the Mediterranean through the Suez Canal, are intended to “enhance interoperability between participating forces”, a statement said.

“It is exciting to see U.S. forces training with regional partners to enhance our collective maritime security capabilities,” said Vice Admiral Brad Cooper, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Central Command, or NAVCENT.

“Maritime collaboration helps safeguard freedom of navigation and the free flow of trade, which are essential to regional security and stability.”

The exercises, which began on Wednesday, include boarding, search and seizure training on the USS Portland , an amphibious transport dock ship.

It is the first publicly announced military cooperation by the UAE and Bahrain with Israel since they opened diplomatic relations in September last year.

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