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Friday, April 12, 2024

Bahrain normalizes ties with Israel as Trump plan for Middle East gathers pace

Bahrain and Israel have normalised ties after the UAE. This is a major victory for the Trump camp as the US elections approach

The island kingdom of Bahrain reportedly will be the fourth Arab country to normalize diplomatic relations with Israel — and the second as part of a Trump administration peace initiative.

Bahrain will follow the United Arab Emirates’ decision last month to recognize Israel’s statehood, Israeli public broadcasting journalist Amichai Stein wrote on Twitter.

Bahrain among three Gulf states that reached out to Israel

Sheba’s director-general Prof. Yitshak Kreiss attended the “Peace for Prosperity” workshop in Bahrain and shared pictures on Facebook of his visit with Bahrain’s former Ambassador to the United States, Houda Nonoo. According to the post, “they discussed how healthcare and medical innovation can spur economic growth for the Middle East and Gulf regions.”

Subsequently, The Jerusalem Post reported that Bahrain was among three Gulf States that reached out to Israel’s Sheba to receive information and assistance in the fight against the novel coronavirus disease known as COVID-19.
Bahrain expressed interest in the hospital’s response to the pandemic at the same time as the UAE’s ambassador to the United Nations said publicly that her government would be willing to work with Israel on a vaccine.
Since the announcement that the UAE and Israel would work to normalize ties, several deals have been established on this front.

Read more: UAE’s recognition of Israel dents Emirati soft power as a Muslim state

Stein reported that Bahrain’s crown prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa will be in Washington, DC, on Monday for the announcement.

On Tuesday, President Trump is scheduled to host Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Emirati foreign affairs minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan at the White House.

A Norwegian official nominated Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize this week for his role in the UAE-Israel deal, which includes the establishment of direct commercial flights.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Post about Bahrain.

The deal is a major achievement for Trump

The development would be another major achievement for Trump as part of a peace initiative led by his son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner, who hosted a conference in Bahrain last year focused on Israeli-Palestinian peace.

Kushner, who is married to first daughter Ivanka Trump, helped orchestrate the UAE’s normalization of relations with Israel after working on the Israel-Palestine peace plan.

Trump alluded this week to other nations wanting to join the UAE in recognizing Israel. He often credits himself with wiping aside decades of disputes regarding Israel, which he said introduced a new realism into the long-running conflict.

As president, Trump moved the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, a lightly populated mountainous area seized from Syria in 1967 after it was used to shell Israeli areas.

Another Muslim-majority country, Kosovo, last week agreed to recognize Israel as part of a US-mediated normalization of trade relations with Serbia. A Swedish official on Friday nominated the US government for the Nobel Peace Prize for the Serbia-Kosovo breakthrough.

Egypt was the first Arab country to recognize Israel, in 1979, followed by Jordan in 1994.

GVS News Desk