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Bahrain and Israel to establish 'full diplomatic relations'

Reuters/Wam/Washington/Jerusalem
Filed on September 12, 2020 | Last updated on September 12, 2020 at 06.53 am
bahrain, israel, america, trump

(Agencies file)

US President Donald Trump tweeted the news after he spoke by phone to both Bahrain's King and Israeli PM.

Bahrain joined the United Arab Emirates in striking an agreement to normalize relations with Israel on Friday, a dramatic move aimed at easing tensions in the Middle East.

US President Donald Trump tweeted the news after he spoke by phone to both Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the White House said.

Also read: Normalisation heralds 'era of peace,' says Netanyahu

"This is a historic breakthrough to further peace in the Middle East," the United States, Bahrain and Israel said in a joint statement.

"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," it said.

The UAE last month agreed to normalise ties with Israel under a US-brokered deal.

That deal is scheduled to be signed on September 15 at a White House ceremony hosted by Trump and attended by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and UAE Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Bahrain is a close ally of Saudi Arabia and the site of the US Navy's regional headquarters.

Friday's deal makes Bahrain the fourth Arab country to reach such an agreement with Israel since exchanging embassies with Egypt and Jordan decades ago.

Last week, Bahrain said it would allow flights between Israel and the UAE to use its airspace. This followed a Saudi decision to allow an Israeli commercial airliner to fly over it on the way to the UAE.

During the call with Trump and Netanyahu, King Hamad stressed the need to reach a just and comprehensive peace as a strategic option, in accordance with the two-state solution and relevant resolutions of international legitimacy.

According to the Bahrain News Agency, King Hamad also praised the pivotal role and steady efforts of the US Administration to advance the peace process, establish security and stability in the Middle East and strengthen international peace.

King Hamad concluded the call by offering his deepest condolences to President Trump on the 19th anniversary of the September 11 attacks.


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