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Bahrain to Normalise Relationships with Israel

In a joint statement, the United States, The Kingdom of Bahrain and Israel announced that an agreement was reached after Trump spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa on Friday.

"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 statement reads.

The deal comes after Israel and the United Arab Emirates announced a similar peace deal last month, called the Abraham Accords. President Trump has even been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for brokering the deal between the two countries.

From left: Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, US President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Image Credit: Agencies

Bahrain will join Israel and the UAE for a signing ceremony at the White House on September 15, Trump told reporters on Friday. The Israel-UAE ceremony will be attended by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Emirati Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan, who will now be joined by Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al Zayani to sign a “historic Declaration of Peace” with Netanyahu.

"It's unthinkable that this could happen and so fast," he said about the Israel-Bahrain deal.

Jared Kushner, senior White House adviser and Trump's son-in-law who played a major role in fortifying the peace agreement between Israel and the UAE, called the agreements a "the culmination of four years of great work" by the Trump administration.

"We're seeing the beginning of a new Middle East, and the president has really secured alliances and partners in trying to pursue that," he claimed. “(This) will help reduce tension in the Muslim world and allow people to separate the Palestinian issue from their own national interests and from their foreign policy, which should be focused on their domestic priorities".

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has also expressed his welcome towards the peace agreement.

“For many long years, we invested in peace, and now peace will invest in us and will bring about truly major investments in Israel’s economy - and that is very important,” he said in a video statement.

Meanwhile, Palestinian leaders have criticised Arab states for making deals with Israel, the country that it has viewed for decades as an occupier of its territory, saying such deals threaten to cement the status quo.

Meanwhile, Palestine recalled its ambassador to Bahrain for consultations soon after the announcement of the peace agreement were made, according to its foreign ministry.

The Palestinian leadership has issued a statement saying “The Palestinian leadership rejects this step taken by the Kingdom of Bahrain and calls on it to immediately retreat from it due to the great harm it causes to the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people and joint Arab action.”

The agreement was "a stab in the back of the Palestinian cause and the Palestinian people", Ahmad Majdalani, social affairs minister in the Palestinian Authority (PA), told AFP news agency.

Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassem said Bahrain’s decision to normalize relations with Israel “represents grave harm to the Palestinian cause, and it supports the occupation.”

Iran has also condemned the peace deal. Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, a special adviser on international affairs for the speaker of Iran’s parliament tweeted:

“The imprudent leaders in UAE, #Bahrain must not pave the way for the Zionist schemes.”
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