Bahrain has refused an offer by Foreign Minister Tizpi Livni to establish diplomatic relations with Israel, the Jordanian Petra news agency reported Monday.
According to Petra, Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmed al-Khalifa, who came under harsh criticism for an unofficial tete-a-tete he held with Livni at the United Nations earlier this fall, asked to wait until after the Annapolis peace parley before discussing possible diplomatic ties.
Last Tuesday, Bahrain's parliament called upon the Gulf Arab emirate's government to cease all contact with Israel and to refrain from attending Annapolis, which it labeled "a waste of time".
"Most of the parliament is in favor of cutting off any contact with Israel," Abd-Ali Muhammad Hassan, a member of Bahrain's Chamber of Deputies, told The Jerusalem Post by phone from Manama. "We are not going to recognize Israel and have any dealings with them until the rights of the Palestinians are achieved," he said.
Islamist deputy Nasser al Fadhala said that Khalifa should ritually wash his hands six times with water and then cleanse them with sand for having shaken Livni's hand.