Bahrain agrees to normalize relations with Israel

Bahrain agrees to normalize relations with Israel
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US President Donald President Trump speaks after it was announced Bahrain has joined the UAE in striking an agreement to normalize relations with Israel during a brief appearance in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington on September 11, 2020. (Reuters)
Bahrain agrees to normalize relations with Israel
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Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. (File/AFP)
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Updated 11 September 2020

Bahrain agrees to normalize relations with Israel

Bahrain agrees to normalize relations with Israel
  • Trump tweeted out the news after he spoke via phone to Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

LONDON: US President Donald Trump said on Friday Bahrain will normalize ties with Israel.

Trump tweeted out the news after he spoke via phone to Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the White House said.

A joint statement issued by the three leaders said the two nations had agreed on “establishment of full diplomatic relations between Israel and the Kingdom of Bahrain.”

The statement added: “This is a historic breakthrough to further peace in the Middle East. Opening direct dialogue and ties between these two dynamic societies and advanced economies will continue the positive transformation of the Middle East and increase stability, security, and prosperity in the region.” 

Netanyahu hailed the agreement as marking a “new era of peace.”

On August 13, the UAE and Israel agreed to normalize ties under a US-brokered agreement which is scheduled to be signed on Sept. 15.

Friday's deal makes Bahrain the fourth Arab country to reach such an agreement with Israel since exchanging embassies with Egypt and Jordan decades ago.

Last week, Bahrain said it would allow flights between Israel and the UAE to use its airspace.

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Bahrain-Israel-US joint statement in full:

“President Donald J. Trump, His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa of the Kingdom of Bahrain, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel spoke today and agreed to the establishment of full diplomatic relations between Israel and the Kingdom of Bahrain.

This is a historic breakthrough to further peace in the Middle East. Opening direct dialogue and ties between these two dynamic societies and advanced economies will continue the positive transformation of the Middle East and increase stability, security, and prosperity in the region.

The United States expresses its gratitude to the Kingdom of Bahrain for hosting the historic Peace to Prosperity workshop in Manama on June 25, 2019, to advance the cause of peace, dignity, and economic opportunity for the Palestinian people. The parties will continue their efforts in this regard to achieve a just, comprehensive, and enduring resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to enable the Palestinian people to realize their full potential. Israel affirmed that as set forth in the Vision for Peace, all Muslims who come in peace may visit and pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Jerusalem’s other holy sites will remain open for peaceful worshippers of all faiths.

King Hamad and Prime Minister Netanyahu express their deep appreciation to President Trump for his dedication to peace in the region, his focus on shared challenges, and the pragmatic and unique approach he has taken to bringing their nations together.

The parties commend the United Arab Emirates and Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed for his leadership on August 13, 2020, in announcing full diplomatic relations with Israel.

The Kingdom of Bahrain has also accepted President Trump's invitation to join Israel and the United Arab Emirates at the historic signing ceremony on September 15, 2020, at the White House where Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel and Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al Zayani of Bahrain will be signing a historic Declaration of Peace.”

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In a press statement, Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al Zayani said that the Gulf country stresses the importance of intensifying efforts to reach a just solution to the Palestinian- Israeli conflict.

Al Zayani added that peace is a strategic option to end the conflict in a just manner in accordance with international resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative.

The foreign minister said that the peace agreement between Bahrain and Israel will contribute to security and stability in the region whilst ensuring that the rights of the Palestinians are protected.

He added that the UAE-Israel agreement to normalize relations between the two countries has contributed to stopping the annexation of Palestinian land.

Meanwhile, Egypt’s president Abdel Fattah El-Sisi said he appreciates the "important step" of Israel and Bahrain establishing diplomatic relations.

The agreement would help establish "stability and peace in the Middle East, in a way that achieves a just and permanent settlement of the Palestinian issue,” he said.

The UAE also welcomed the agreement saying it hoped it would have a positive effect on the climate for peace and cooperation in the region and around the world.

“The move represents a significant step towards an era of security and prosperity ... (and) would expand the scope of economic, cultural, scientific, and diplomatic avenues of cooperation,” the UAE foreign ministry said in a statement.