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US ready to help Bahrain-Israel normalisation if needed, official says

Reuters/Dubai
Filed on August 27, 2020 | Last updated on August 27, 2020 at 12.35 am
bahrain, united states, uae, israel, normalisation, mike pompeo
US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo meets with Bahrain Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani during his visit to Manama, Bahrain, August 25, 2020.

(Reuters)

Bahrain's Crown Prince said he welcomed US efforts towards the Israel-UAE peace treaty.

The United States will assist normalisation between Bahrain and Israel if needed, a senior US State Department official said during a visit by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Bahrain on Wednesday.

Also read: US Secretary of State Pompeo hails UAE's historic Israel peace treaty during Abu Dhabi visit

Pompeo is on a Middle East tour following a US-brokered accord between Israel and the UAE to normalise relations announced on August 13.

"If we can help facilitate normalization with Bahrain we're ready," the official said.

On arrival in Bahrain, Pompeo said it was vital to seize the momentum of the deal. On this trip he has visited Jerusalem, Sudan, Bahrain, the UAE and will head to Oman on Thursday.

Israel and the United States have said they are pushing more Arab countries to follow the UAE's path. Israel's intelligence minister has mentioned Bahrain as a possible candidate.

"I think that UAE's decision creates a climate that makes it easier for another country to follow, and more countries after that," the state department official on the tour said.

Bahrain welcomed the UAE-Israel accord soon after it was announced and said it raised the chances of peace.

The small island state of Bahrain houses the US Navy's Fifth Fleet, the US Naval Forces Central Command (USNAVCENT) and a British naval support facility. The International Maritime Security Construct (IMSC), formed in 2019 to protect commercial shipping in the Gulf after a series of tanker attacks, is also based in Bahrain.

Bahrain's Crown Prince Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa said he welcomed US efforts towards the Israel-UAE treaty, noting "the importance of re-doubling efforts to realise a just solution which utilises peace as a strategic option to end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict", state news agency BNA said.

On Twitter after meeting the crown prince, Pompeo said they discussed regional peace and stability and Gulf unity.


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