Israeli Economy Minister Eli Cohen last week cancelled a planned visit to Bahrain last week over security concerns, Israeli media reported yesterday.

Cohen should have travelled to the Gulf State to attend a conference, but his spokeswoman said that he cancelled his trip after a campaign was launched against him in Bahrain.

His spokeswoman said that the visit to Bahrain had been “delayed because of political issues.”

Cohen should have been in Bahrain along with around 30 Israeli business executives and government officials, according to Reuters, which reported that the conference is being organised by the US-based Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN) and is due to be held 15-18 April.

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“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,” Jonathan Ortmans, GEN president, said in a statement reported by Reuters.

A source close to the matter told Reuters that three Israeli speakers had canceled because they were unable to obtain visas while the rest of the delegation had “decided not to go”.

Reuters reported a statement by Bahrain MPs reading: “Bahrain’s parliament announces that the people of Bahrain reject any Israeli presence on its territory and its lands and any decision allowing this presence is unacceptable.”