Trump announces Bahrain and Israel agreement to normalize relations

The Kingdom of Bahrain and Israel have agreed to establish diplomatic relations between them, according to a joint statement published Friday by US President Donald Trump.

The statement, which Trump published on his Twitter account, which was the result of the efforts of the three countries, described the agreement as a "historic breakthrough to achieve peace in the Middle East in a greater way."

The statement said that Trump spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the King of Bahrain, Sheikh Hamad bin Isa, on Friday, and an agreement was reached.

Bahrain also accepted Trump's invitation to join Israel and the UAE at a ceremony at the White House next week regarding the normalization of relations between Israel and the UAE.

The statement affirmed the commitment of the two parties "to reach a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in order to enable the Palestinian people to realize all their potential."

Earlier, Israeli and American reports had spoken that Bahrain would join the UAE in normalizing relations with Israel, and that the White House was about to announce this.

The news was first reported by the Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation, which said that Bahrain's Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa will participate in a ceremony next week in Washington with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Emirati Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Other Israeli media outlets mentioned the report, citing Israeli sources, and the Axios news site in the United States, which quoted a source in the administration of US President Donald Trump.

Trump plays the mediating role of closer ties between Israel and the Gulf states. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was in Bahrain recently, as part of a tour to the Middle East.

The UAE was the first Arab country in the Gulf region to announce that it would normalize relations with Israel.

Trump indicated that other countries will join the Emirates, and went further in saying that Saudi Arabia may soon also agree to establishing official relations with Israel, despite Riyadh's public announcement that it has not yet moved in this direction.

Trump will preside over the official ceremony next week in Washington, where an Arab country will recognize Israel for the first time in more than two decades.

Thus, Bahrain has violated its pledge at the end of last month to wait until the Arab peace initiative is implemented and the establishment of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital to normalize relations with Israel.


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