King Hamad Bin Eisa Al Khalifa and Russian President Vladimir Putin attend the signing of documents ceremony during their meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow on May 23, 2024. Image Credit: Reuters

MOSCOW: The King of Bahrain on Thursday invited Russia to a Middle East peace conference to be held in Bahrain, the Interfax news agency reported.

King Hamad bin Eisa Al Khalifa is on an official visit to Russia and is holding talks with President Vladimir Putin.

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King Hamad said in a meeting with Putin that there is no reason to postpone the resumption of diplomatic relations between the kingdom and Iran, state news agency reported.

King Hamad added that the kingdom is looking forward to improve its relations with Iran.

Host Bahrain last Thursday called for a Middle East peace conference at an Arab League summit dominated by the Israel-Hamas war, which has been raging in the Gaza Strip without a ceasefire in sight.

King Hamad was addressing fellow heads of state and government at the 22-strong grouping in the capital Manama, more than seven months into a conflict that has convulsed the region.

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“(We) call for an international conference for peace in the Middle East, in addition to supporting full recognition of the State of Palestine and accepting its membership in the United Nations,” said the king.

It was the first time the bloc has come together since an extraordinary summit in Riyadh, capital of neighbouring Saudi Arabia, in November that also involved leaders from the 57-member Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, based in the Saudi city of Jeddah.

At that meeting, leaders condemned Israeli forces’ “barbaric” actions in Gaza but declined to approve punitive economic and political steps against the country, despite growing anger in the region and widespread support for the Palestinian cause.