Bahrain to normalise relations with Israel

11 September 2020
US President Donald Trump reveals that Bahrain is to normalise relations with Israel, four weeks after the UAE announced a similar agreement

Bahrain has reached an agreement with Israel to normalise relations between the two countries, four weeks after the UAE announced a similar agreement.

The deal was announced in a tweet on 11 September by US President Donald Trump, who brokered the deal.

"The second Arab country to make peace with Israel in 30 days," he tweeted.

The agreement makes Bahrain the fourth Arab country to recognise Israel after Egypt, Jordan and the UAE.

Until 13 August, all Arab states apart from Egypt and Jordan imposed a strict boycott making it illegal to do business with Israel. They said they would only establish ties after the Palestinian dispute was settled.

Following the announcement of the UAE's agreement on 13 August, there had been speculation that Bahrain might follow.

Israel move was a question of timing

Middle East peace plan 

President Trump has helped broker both agreements, which come months after the White House presented a peace plan for the Middle East on 29 January supporting a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians.

"Another historic breakthrough today!" Trump tweeted, adding: "Our two GREAT friends Israel and the Kingdom of Bahrain agree to a Peace Deal."

The president also posted on Twitter a copy of a joint statement between the US, Bahrain and Israel.

Prior to the UAE announcement, Israel had no official relations with any Gulf state. However, growing shared concerns over Iran have led to unofficial contacts.

Flights resume

Last month saw the first official flight from Israel to the UAE, which was considered a major step in normalising relations.

President Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner, who was on the plane, described the UAE deal as having "the ability to change the whole course of the Middle East".

Bahrain last week said it would allow flights between Israel and the UAE to use its airspace.

President Trump is due to host a ceremony in the White House on 15 September marking the UAE/Israel agreement, known as the Abraham Accord.

The declaration of peace between Bahrain and Israel is a historic, significant step towards achieving peace in the Middle East, says Bahrain's Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdullatif bin Rashid al-Zayani. Photo: WAM





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