by WorldTribune Staff, September 13, 2020
The White House on Friday announced that President Donald Trump, King Hamad bin Isa bin Salman al-Khalifa of Bahrain, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed to the establishment of full diplomatic relations between Israel and Bahrain.
The announcement follows the historic deal, brokered by Trump and for which he has received Nobel Peace Prize nominations, in which Israel and the UAE normalized relations.
“Now that the ice has been broken, I expect more Arab and Muslim countries will follow the United Arab Emirates’ lead,” Trump said.
Israel and Bahrain have committed to begin the exchange of embassies and ambassadors, start direct flights between their countries, and launch cooperation initiatives across a broad range of sectors, the White House announcement said.
Netanyahu said: “It took us 26 years to go from a second peace agreement with an Arab state to a third, but 29 days, not 26 years, to go from a peace agreement with the third Arab state to the fourth Arab state. And there will be more. This is a new era of peace.”
Jared Kushner, senior White House adviser and a key Middle East peace negotiator, said: “There’s a new momentum and new hopefulness in the Middle East. The agreement that we made with the United Arab Emirates and Israel was even more popular than we expected, which is why this next agreement came so quickly. We were not sure what the reaction would be, but it’s been overwhelmingly positive. And more and more countries are rushing to try to figure out how they can do good things for their citizens and create a paradigm for a much more peaceful and prosperous future.”
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi on Friday touted the newly announced normalization deal between Israel and Bahrain.
“I hail this important step aimed at consolidating stability and peace in the Middle East, which will achieve a just and permanent solution to the Palestinian cause,” Sisi said in a tweet.
Egypt was the first Arab country to sign a peace deal with Israel in 1979, followed by Jordan in 1994.
The Gulf State of Oman also welcomed Bahrain’s decision to normalize relations with Israel, Oman state TV reported Sunday.
“The Sultanate welcomes the initiative taken by the sisterly kingdom of Bahrain,” the channel wrote on its Twitter account.
The government added that it hopes that“this new strategic path taken by some Arab countries will contribute to bringing about a peace based on an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and on establishing an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as capital.”
Israel and Morocco are expected to establish direct flights as the next step in Trump’s normalization efforts, N12 reported Saturday.
Iran, meanwhile, condemned Bahrain for making the deal with Israel, saying it was a “fundamental mistake” to “seek shelter” in Israel instead of “gaining legitimacy from its people.”