Bahrain agrees to normalize relations with Israel

Bahrain agreed to establish formal relations with Israel in advance of historic signing in Washington of an accord to normalize ties between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

It is likely that a second accord could be signed between Israel and Bahrain.

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

“Another HISTORIC breakthrough today! Our two GREAT friends Israel and the Kingdom of Bahrain agree to a Peace Deal – the second Arab country to make peace with Israel in 30 days!,” Trump tweeted.

Israel is now “working toward the opening of an Israeli embassy in Bahrain,” according to a Foreign Ministry official.

Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi spoke with his Bahrain counterpart Abdullatif bin Rashid al Zayani.

“I look forward to deepening and strengthening the relations between our two countries. Together we will work towards peace and stability in the Middle East,” Ashkenazi tweeted.

Netanyahu said that more agreements with Arab states would follow the Bahrain agreement, and the one arrived at with the UAE in August.

To underscore the speed with which events are unfolding, Netanyahu noted on Friday that it took 26 years, from the signing of a peace deal between Israel and Jordan in 1994, for there to be an existing deal, such as the one with the UAE.

After that, he said, it was only another 29 days to make a fourth deal.

“This is a new era of peace,” Netanyahu said in a video message, in which he underscored that what is occurring now is “peace for peace” and “economy for economy.”

He added, “we have invested in peace for many years and now peace will invest in us. It will lead to very large investments in the Israeli economy and that is very important.

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