Bahrain may name Jewish woman as US ambassador

Bahrain would be the first Arab country to send a high-level Jewish diplomat to Washington If Jewish woman was appointed.

Bahrain may name Jewish woman as US ambassador
The only Jewish woman lawmaker in Bahrain is a candidate to become this Persian Gulf kingdom's ambassador to Washington.

Asked about local media reports that she had been chosen for the post, Huda Nono, a legislator in the Shura Council, said she was among people being considered for the post and referred further queries to the foreign ministry.

"I am one of the contenders," Nono, a mother of two and one of two Jewish members in the legislature's upper chamber, said. "Nothing is official yet."

If Nono was appointed, Bahrain would be the first Arab country to send a high-level Jewish diplomat to Washington. A pro-Western island nation with Sunni rulers and a Shiite majority, Bahrain is a close U.S. ally and hosts the base of the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet.

Nono is the first Jewish woman in the Shura Council, a 40-seat body appointed by the king that also has a Christian among its 11 female legislators. The elected 40-member lower house has only one woman lawmaker.

Nono replaced her cousin Ibrahim Nono, who held the Shura Council seat for four years. A businesswoman who lives both in Bahrain and London, Nono also is the first Jewish woman to head a local rights organization, the Bahrain Human Rights Watch.

There are less than 10 Jewish families in Bahrain, with some 50 members in all, and Nono's family is prominent. The country's population is about 500,000.

Media reports have speculated that by considering the appointment of Nono, Bahrain's ruler may be seeking to pave the way for opening formal diplomatic relations with Israel.

Agencies
Last Mod: 02 Mayıs 2008, 09:16
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