Bahrain becomes latest Arab nation to recognize Israel

Bahrain becomes latest Arab nation to recognize Israel

Donald Trump announced on Friday that Bahrain has indicated it intends to normalise relations with Israel, another significant step in the Middle East that comes after the president and his administration helped broker a similar pact between the United Arab Emirates and the Jewish state.

A signing ceremony between the UAE, Bahrain, and Israel will be held at the White House on Tuesday.

A joint US-Israel-Bahrain statement said there would be "full diplomatic relations".

President Donald announced another historic peace deal for the Middle East on Friday between Israel and the Kingdom of Bahrain.

Last week, Saudi Arabia agreed to allow Israeli planes to fly over its territory, paving the way for the operation of the direct flights to the UAE.

The White House emphasized the impact of the agreements as Trump runs for reelection, pointing out the historic nature of the peace deals and using them as examples of the president's desire to end long-term conflicts in the region.

The Trump administration has tried to coax other Sunni Arab countries to engage with Israel.

Delegations from Israel and the UAE will attend a signing ceremony on September 15. Oman could be another country to normalize ties with Israel, but Oman's leadership has suggested that normalization would not be possible unless a sovereign Palestinian state was established.

The United States, Israel and the UAE have urged Palestinian leaders to re-engage with Israel.

Benjamin Netanyahu says diplomatic ties between Israel and UAE have ushered in a "new era".

Under the terms of the UAE-Israel deal, Israel agreed to suspend its controversial plans to annex up to 30 per cent of the West Bank, which the Palestinians claim as their own land.

Trump did not disclose the name of the country that might be the next to join, but predicted that Saudi Arabia would eventually do so.

The King's diplomatic adviser Khalid bin Khalifa tweeted that the agreement "is in the interest of the security, stability and prosperity of the region, and sends a positive and encouraging message to the people of Israel that a just and comprehensive peace with the Palestinian people is the best way and the true interest for their future and the future of the peoples of the region".

The easing of relations with Israel is happening amid a backdrop of shared fears about the threat of Iran to the region.

Trump's top adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner described the announcement as sign that a "new Middle East" is emerging. Bahrain and Oman have always been seen as the most likely candidates to quickly join in the UAE-Israel peace accord.

Just off the coast of Saudi Arabia, the island of Bahrain is among the world's smallest countries, only about 760 square kilometers (290 square miles).

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