Trump expected to announce historic Bahrain-Israel normalization agreement

Written by on September 11, 2020

US President Donald Trump is expected to announce a historic normalization agreement between Israel and Bahrain on Friday, The Jerusalem Post has learned. 

A source in the know confirmed that Bahrain Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa would be in Washington ahead of a White House ceremony on Tuesday where Israel and the United Arab Emirates will formally establish ties.

“You’ll be hearing other countries coming in over a relatively short period of time. And you could have peace in the Middle East,” Trump told a White House news conference on Thursday.

Trump said it was possible another country could soon join the diplomatic accord between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. However, he did not disclose the name of the country that might be the next to join, but predicted that Saudi Arabia would eventually do so.

Trump is going to host a signing ceremony next Tuesday that will include delegations with Israel and the UAE. His negotiators have been trying to get other Gulf nations, such as Bahrain and Oman, to join in normalizing relations with Israel.

“Next week at the White House we’ll be having a signing between the UAE and Israel, and we could have another country added into that. And I will tell you that countries are lining up that want to go into it,” Trump said.

“I think what ultimately will happen is you’re going to have quite a few countries come in. The big ones are going to be coming in. I spoke to the king of Saudi Arabia, so we’re talking. We just started the dialog. And you’ll have them come in,” he said.

The Saudi Embassy in Washington did not respond to a query on whether the Saudi ambassador or another Saudi representative would attend next week’s signing ceremony at the White House.

Tuesday’s peace agreement signing between UAE and Israel will be with Bahrain, too.

— Lahav Harkov (@LahavHarkov) September 11, 2020

Trump said he believed the Palestinians, who have denounced Trump’s Middle East peace initiative as too favorable to Israel, would ultimately “get back into the fold” and open a dialog.

“I’m frankly surprised they haven’t been to the table earlier,” said Trump, who added the United States would consider lifting a freeze on aid to the Palestinians if a deal can be reached with them.

Bahrain is where the White House held the June 2019 “Peace for Prosperity” economic conference, which various Israeli leaders attended.

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.

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