U.S. Iran envoy Brian Hook (C) with the foreign ministers of Israel (L) and Bahrain (R).

Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz had a short and rare public encounter yesterday with Bahrain's foreign minister, Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, at a State Department reception.

Why it matters: There has been a flurry of meetings between Israeli officials and their counterparts from the Gulf states recently, but the meetings are typically not made public by either party. That's why the joint photo of both ministers is even more significant than the meeting itself. Israel and Bahrain don't have diplomatic relations but are in a steady process of warming ties.

Both ministers were in Washington for a gathering on religious freedom organized by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. They spoke for a few minutes, shook hands and took a joint photo.

  • The ministers were encouraged to meet by the U.S. special envoy for Iran, Brian Hook, who joined them for the photo.
  • This is another sign of the Trump administration’s success in moving Israel and the Gulf states closer together against their shared adversary, Iran.
  • It comes several weeks after the conference in Bahrain on the economic part of the Trump administration's Israeli-Palestinian peace plan. Bahrain agreed to let Israeli businessmen and journalists attend.

Jason Greenblatt, the White House special envoy for Middle East peace, welcomed the short meeting in a tweet and wrote: "Terrific progress in Washington this week for Israel, Bahrain & the region."

Go deeper: Bahrain foreign minister's first interview with an Israeli journalist.

Go deeper

Updated 59 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12:45 p.m. ET: 30,838,610 — Total deaths: 958,090— Total recoveries: 21,088,552Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12:45 p.m. ET: 6,777,026 — Total deaths: 199,352 — Total recoveries: 2,577,446 — Total tests: 94,211,463Map.
  3. Politics: Testing czar on Trump's CDC contradictions: "Everybody is right" Trump's health secretary asserts control over all new rules.
  4. Education: What we overlooked in the switch to remote learning
  5. Health: The dwindling chances of eliminating COVID-19.
  6. World: Guatemalan president tests positive for COVID-19 — The countries painting their pandemic recoveries green.
Updated 1 hour ago - Health

7 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week

Data: Compiled by Axios; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Seven states set new highs last week for coronavirus infections recorded in a single day, according to the COVID Tracking Project and state health departments. Wisconsin and Nebraska surpassed records set the previous week.

Why it matters: Problem spots are sticking in the Midwest, although the U.S. is moving in the right direction overall after massive infection spikes this summer.

Murkowski says she opposes voting on Ginsburg replacement before election

Photo: Greg Nash/Pool/Getty Images

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said in a statement Sunday that she opposes holding a Senate confirmation vote on President Trump's nomination to replace Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg before the election.

Why it matters: Murkowski joins Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) as one of two Republican senators who have thus far said that they do not support rushing through a confirmation vote before November. Two more defections would likely force Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to resort to holding a vote in the lame-duck session, which neither Murkowski nor Collins have addressed.