Kingdom of Bahrain on Friday joined the UAE in striking an agreement to normalize relations with Israel, a dramatic move aimed at easing tensions in the Middle East.
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.
In a statement, the UAE welcomed the decision by the Kingdom of Bahrain to establish relations with Israel and said the move would have a positive effect on peace efforts in the region.
The UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation commended the move, expressing its hope that establishing relations would have a positive effect on the climate for peace and cooperation regionally and internationally.
The ministry also noted that the move represents a significant step towards an era of security and prosperity, underscoring that it would expand the scope of economic, cultural, scientific, and diplomatic avenues of cooperation.
Earlier, US President Donald Trump announced the breaking news that Bahrain has agreed to normalise ties with Israel.
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.
“This is a historic breakthrough to further peace in the Middle East,” the United States, Bahrain and Israel said in a joint statement.
Bahrain is a close ally of Saudi Arabia and the site of the US Navy’s regional headquarters.
“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.
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.
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.