Bahrain, Israel Agree to Establish ‘Full Diplomatic Relations’

President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Rabat – US President Donald Trump announced on Friday Bahrain’s decision to normalize ties with Israel.

Trump shared a joint statement from the US, Bahrain, and Israel, in which the Gulf country and Netanyahu’s government agreed to the “establishment of full diplomatic relations.”

“This is a historic breakthrough to further peace in the Middle East,” the joint statement said.

The statement argued that opening direct dialogue between the two countries will continue the “positive transformation of the Middle East and Increase stability, security, and prosperity in the region.”

The joint press release also cited the US satisfaction with the decision. Washington notably expressed its “gratitude” to Bahrain for hosting the “historic Peace to Prosperity workshop,” a reference to the “Deal of the century” discussions held in Manama in June 2019. 

According to the Trump administration, both the Manama workshop on the US president’s “peace plan” and Bahrain’s subsequent decision to normalize ties with Israel serve to advance the “cause of peace, dignity, and economic opportunity for the Palestinian people.”

As part of the normalization accord, the US, Israel, and Bahrain vowed to continue efforts to achieve a comprehensive solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

With Friday’s announcement, Bahrain becomes the second Arab country to accept normalization with Israel.

The first to announce an agreement with Netanyahu’s government was the UAE, which received backlash from the overwhelming majority of Arab observers and supporters of the Palestinian cause.

Meanwhile, Washington appears convinced that more Arab states will join the UAE and Bahrain In recent years, the Trump administration has consistently maintained that in the normalization fray is synonymous with pushing for “peace” and stability in the region.

The normalization announcement from Bahrain comes a few weeks after the much-hyped Middle East visit of  Jared Kushner, Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law. 

Bahrain was among the countries Kushner visited in his Middle East trip, with discussions centering around security and normalization deals in the region.