Bahrain also agreed to normalize diplomatic relations with Israel U.S. Trump administration announced September 12 at 7:03 a.m.
U.S. President Trump has announced that Bahrain, one of the Arab countries at odds with Israel in the Middle East, has agreed to normalize diplomatic relations through U.S. mediation.
The Trump administration also brokered the normalization of diplomatic relations between Israel and the UAE in August, and its aggressive efforts in the run-up to the autumn presidential election have had a significant impact on the composition of the long-standing Israeli-Arab conflict.
U.S. President Trump announced today that Israel and Bahrain, one of the Arab countries, have agreed to normalize diplomatic relations through U.S. mediation.
President Trump met and agreed by telephone with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Bahrain’s King Hamad, and President Trump said, “Today is a very historic and important day.”
The two countries will set up embassies and launch direct flights to strengthen economic relations in the future.
The Trump administration has been pushing for improved relations between Israel and arab countries before the November presidential election, with Israel and the UAE agreeing to normalize diplomatic relations under U.S. mediation in August, and representatives from both countries are against the agreement in Washington, the capital, on September 15.
The U.S. government is also going to have a signing ceremony for the Israeli-Bahrain agreement on the same day, and it is against President Trump’s track record.
Israel has been at odds with Arab countries supporting Palestine for more than 70 years since its founding in 1948.
On the other hand, the Trump administration has made clear its stance toward Israel with an awareness of the conservative base of its support base, and as a result of its increasing efforts to reach out to Arab countries, it has reached an agreement to normalize diplomatic relations between Israel, the UAE and Bahrain in just one month, which has had a significant impact on the composition of the long-standing Israeli-Arab conflict.
Bahrain is an oil-produced country that relies on oil for most of its national years in the Middle East, an island country in the Persian Gulf.
Approximately 1.5 million people live in the country, which is a little larger than Tokyo’s 23 wards, and half of them are foreign workers.
It has a close security relationship with the United States and has the headquarters of the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet, which has jurisdiction over the Persian Gulf and other areas.
Bahrain is home to a minority of Muslim Sunni royals in power, but in 2011 majority Shia residents staged massive anti-government protests.
In doing so, Saudi Arabia has been strongly influenced by the intervention and quelling of Saudi Arabia, a neighboring regional power controlled by the same Sunni royal family.
For this reason, diplomacy is at odds with Iran in a way that is in step with the United States and Saudi Arabia.
Regarding relations with Israel, in July last year, the then Israeli foreign minister posted a photo on Twitter of his meeting with Bahrain’s foreign minister in Washington, USA, suggesting the close proximity of the two countries.
In August, after Israel and the UAE-United Arab Emirates agreed to normalize diplomatic relations, U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo and senior adviser Kushner visited Bahrain one after another to meet with King Hamad to encourage improve relations with Israel.
Bahrain King Hamad’s stance on the Palestinian side
Bahrain’s state-run news agency reported Friday that King Hamad had a telephone meeting between U.S. President Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, as well as a joint statement released by the United States between Bahrain and Israel.
However, he did not convey King Hamad’s direct response to the normalization of diplomatic relations, but referred to Palestine, which is at odds with Israel, and said, “King Hamad stressed that both Israel and Palestine should aim for a fair and complete peace based on the idea of having a state.”
King Hamad’s aim is to show consideration for the Palestinian side, which opposes the agreement.
Former Foreign Minister Khalid, King Hamad’s foreign policy adviser, also stressed the significance of the agreement, posting on his Twitter account today that it would “lead to regional security, stability and prosperity.”
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu “is entering a new era of peace”
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu issued a video statement after the agreement with Bahrain, pointing out that improving relations with Arab countries took more than 20 years to normalize diplomatic relations with the UAE-United Arab Emirates in August after the signing of a peace treaty with Jordan in 1994 following Egypt in 1979.
As for the agreement between the UAE and Bahrain, he said that “the agreement between the third and fourth countries will take only 29 days and will continue to be continued,” and indicated his willingness to improve relations with other Arab countries.
“We are entering a new era of peace. We have invested in peace for many years, but this time peace will bring us great investment,” he said, stressing the significance of improving relations with Arab countries and thanking President Trump for acting as a mediate.
Voices of welcome from Arab countries
Arab countries have welcomed the agreement.
Egypt’s President Sisi, who first established diplomatic relations with Israel in 1979 as an Arab country, wrote on Twitter that he would “evaluate it as an important step toward regional stability and peace” and expressed his support for the agreement.
The UAE-United Arab Emirates Foreign Ministry, which agreed last month to normalize diplomatic relations with Israel prior to Bahrain, issued a statement through its state-run news agency, “we welcome Bahrain’s decision to build relations with Israel. It will have a good impact on international peace and mutual cooperation.”
Palestinian Transitional Authority “strongly rejects and condemns”
In response to the agreement, the Palestinian Transitional Authority issued a statement through official media today, protesting that it “strongly rejects and condemns the declaration by the United States, Bahrain and Israel.”
As for the agreement, he said, “I think it is an extremely dangerous move to blow away the peace proposals and resolutions agreed upon by arab countries, as well as international legitimacy.”
Arab countries and Palestine agreed in 2002 on a peace plan that would make normalization of diplomatic relations with Israel a prerequisite for Israel’s withdrawal from occupied territories and the approval of the Palestinian state, and the Palestinians have again called for compliance with the peace plan in a statement.
However, regarding relations between Arab countries and Palestine, the Palestinian side raised a statement at the Arab League Foreign Ministers’ Meeting on September 9 condemning the recent agreement between Israel and the UAE to normalize diplomatic relations against the peace plan, but it was not adopted, highlighting the isolation of Palestine.