MANAMA, Bahrain — Foreign Minister Eli Cohen on Monday met with this Gulf nation’s crown prince, telling him that Israel is seeking to normalize ties with additional Arab countries.

Cohen also stressed to Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa the importance of promoting economic and civil ties between the countries, including finalizing a free trade agreement, according to the Foreign Ministry.

The two met at Manama’s Gudaibiya Palace.

Cohen had initially scheduled to meet Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. The reason for the change was not immediately clear.

Earlier Monday, Cohen visited the headquarters of the US Fifth Fleet and met with the head of US Naval Forces Central Command, Vice Admiral Brad Cooper. He is expected to sign a number of memorandums of understanding later Monday, then host an event with businesspeople from both countries.

The Israeli diplomat also inaugurated Israel’s new embassy in Manama earlier in the day, as it moved to a permanent location after operating out of a temporary home that then-foreign minister Yair Lapid opened at an official ceremony two years ago.

Cohen arrived Sunday evening and was greeted at the airport by his Bahraini counterpart, Abdullatif Al Zayani, before heading to his hotel to meet with Israeli business executives interested in doing business in Bahrain.

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