After UAE, Bahrain normalising ties with Israel
14 September 2020
US President Donald Trump on Saturday announced a second successful mediation that brought Israel and another Gulf Arab country Bahrain together to sign a friendship pact, after the one signed with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) last month.
Bahrain now becomes the second Gulf Arab nation to normalise ties with Israel following UAE and the fourth Arab country to do so after Egypt, Jordan and UAE to befriend the Jewish nation.
In a joint statement, the United States, Bahrain and Israel said the agreement was reached after Trump spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa on Friday.
The Israel-Bahrain pact, part of a broader diplomatic push by US President Donald Trump and his administration, puts another feather in Trump’s cap, making him more eligible for his Nobel Peace Prize nomination.
Trump hailed the deal as "a historic breakthrough" while the Palestinian Authority (PA), the main stakeholder in the West Asia conflict, condemned the Bahrain-Israel normalisation deal as another betrayal by an Arab state.
The agreement was "a stab in the back of the Palestinian cause and the Palestinian people", like the UAE-Israel deal announced last month, AFO quoted Ahmad Majdalani, social affairs minister in the occupied West Bank-based Palestine Authority, as saying.
Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, said the deal was an "aggression" that dealt "serious prejudice" to the Palestinian cause.
Iran said Bahrain was now partner to the "crimes" of Israel. "The rulers of Bahrain will from now on be partners to the crimes of the Zionist regime as a constant threat to the security of the region and the world of Islam," the foreign ministry said in a statement.
The Turkish foreign ministry strongly condemned Bahrain's decision to establish diplomatic ties with Israel, adding it will deal a fresh blow to efforts to defend the Palestinian cause.
"It will further encourage Israel to continue illegitimate practices towards Palestine and its efforts to make the occupation of Palestinian lands permanent," the ministry statement said.
The UAE welcomed the decision by Bahrain and Israel to establish relations, saying that it hoped it would have a positive effect on 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.
On 15 September, the UAE will formally normalise ties with Israel, a move that was announced last month. Bahrain and Israel will sign a declaration on the same day.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi said he appreciated the "important step" Israel and Bahrain had taken in agreeing to establish 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," el-Sisi said on Twitter.
Jordan's foreign minister Ayman Safadi said in a statement that the necessary steps to achieve a fair and comprehensive peace in the region should come from Israel.
Safadi added that Israel should stop all its procedures to undermine the two-state solution, and end the illegal occupation of the Palestinian lands.
Oman TV on Sunday said the country welcomes Bahrain's decision to normalise relations with Israel.
"The Sultanate welcomes the initiative taken by the sisterly kingdom of Bahrain," the channel said on its Twitter account.
Oman hopes "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," it added.