Politics, Middle East

Bahrain announces 'complete' normalization with Israel

Netanyahu and Bahrain's Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani will sign the agreement on Sept. 15

Ahmed Tolba   | 11.09.2020
Bahrain announces 'complete' normalization with Israel


MANAMA 

Bahrain on Friday announced reaching a US-brokered agreement to establish full diplomatic relations with Israel, according to the official Bahrain News Agency (BNA).

The agreement was finalized during a telephone call between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Bahrain King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, according to a joint US-Bahrain-Israel statement published on Twitter by US President Donald Trump.

The agency stated that Trump made a phone call with Al Khalifa in the presence of Netanyahu, during which "they agreed to establish full diplomatic relations between Israel and the Kingdom of Bahrain."

During the call, Trump called on Bahrain to participate in the signing ceremony of the normalization agreement that will be held at the White House between the United Arab Emirates and Israel on Sept. 15.

According to the statement, "Bahrain accepted" the US president's invitation to the White House "where both Netanyahu and Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al Zayani will sign the peace declaration."

The king stressed, during the call, the "necessity to reach a just and comprehensive peace as a strategic option, in accordance with the two-state solution and relevant international legitimacy decisions."

He praised "the pivotal role played by the American administration and its tireless efforts to advance the peace process, establish security and stability in the Middle East region, and strengthen international peace."

In the first official comment, Khalid bin Ahmed, the advisor to the king of Bahrain, said in a tweet that the agreement "is in the interest of the region's security, stability and prosperity."

He considered that the move "sends a positive and encouraging message to the people of Israel, that a just and comprehensive peace with the Palestinian people is the best way and the true interest for their future and the future of the peoples of the region."

The Bahrain agreement comes about a month after a similar agreement was reached between the UAE and Israel on Aug. 13, which was met with widespread Palestinian condemnation, as the Palestinian factions and leadership considered it a "betrayal" by Abu Dhabi.

After Trump's announcement, Bahrain will be the fourth Arab country to sign or agree to sign a normalization agreement with Israel, after Egypt (1979), Jordan (1994) and the UAE (2020).

* Writing by Mahmoud Barakat

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