This Friday, and while commemorating the 19th anniversary of the attacks of September 11, 2001, the US president Donald Trump announced a new “peace agreement” between an Arab country and Israel.
This time it’s about Bahrain, which would thus become the fourth Arab country to normalize diplomatic relations with the Hebrew state, behind Egypt (1979) and Jordan (1994), and the second in less than a month, after the United Arab Emirates.
The information was also confirmed by the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanjahu, and by the King of Bahrain, Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa, according to Arab News.
“Another historic breakthrough today!” The White House tenant tweeted. “Our two great friends, Israel and the Kingdom of Bahrain, have concluded a Peace Agreement,” also publishing a joint statement.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 11, 2020
“Citizens of Israel, I am excited to announce that tonight we will achieve another peace agreement with another Arab country, Bahrain. This agreement adds to the historic peace with the United Arab Emirates, ”Netanyahu declared in a statement in Hebrew.
Bahrain’s decision to establish relations with Israel will boost the region’s “security, stability and prosperity”, declared one of the king’s advisers and former foreign minister, Khalid al Khalifa.
“Send a positive and encouraging message to the people of Israel that only a just and comprehensive peace with the Palestinian people is the best way,” he added in a tweet.
A Palestinian state was a condition
The news is particularly surprising given that Bahrain publicly objected less than two weeks ago to normalizing relations with Israel, during the tour the Secretary of State (head of diplomacy) of the United States, Mike Pompeo.
Normalizing relations between Israel and America’s allies in the Middle East, including the rich Gulf monarchies, is a key objective of the regional strategy implemented by Trump to contain Iran, an intimate enemy of Washington and also of the Hebrew state.
Bahrain, a small Gulf kingdom, and Israel share with other Arab countries in the region the same hostility towards Iran, which they accuse of interference. Specifically, they accuse him of instrumentalizing the Bahraini Shiite community against the ruling Sunni dynasty.
But the Bahrain authorities then stressed to Pompeo the need to create a Palestinian state before any normalization.
Bahrain maintained a position close to that of its ally Saudi Arabia, a heavyweight in the region, which did not criticize the August 13 agreement, but rules out normalization with Israel until there is a solution to the Palestinian question, as well as a withdrawal. Israeli from the territories occupied in 1967.
The joint statement issued by the White House specifies that Bahrain will join a signing ceremony scheduled for Tuesday at the headquarters of the US presidency in the presence of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.