Donald Trump announced this friday an agreement between Israel and the small kingdom of Bahrain for both countries to establish for the first time diplomatic relations, an agreement that comes less than a month after the Jewish state did the same with the United Arab Emirates. “Another historic achievement today! Our two great friends, Israel and Bahrain, have reached a peace agreement,” the US leader tweeted shortly after sharing the joint statement of the parties. Both countries they will exchange embassies and they will launch direct flights, as well as cooperation agreements in economic, health, technological or security matters. The commitment will be signed next Tuesday in a ceremony at the White House to which the leaders of both countries will attend.
The importance of the agreement cannot be underestimated. Against all expectations, the Trump Administration has launched seismic changes in the region that escaped many of their predecessors. Although Israel and the Arab Gulf states had been cooperating in relative secrecy Due to the misgivings they share towards Iran’s policy in the region, the Republican has managed to normalize those relations by breaking the taboos that had prevailed until now. The prevailing consensus held that the Gulf monarchies would not normalize their relations with Israel until it ended the occupation of the Palestinian territories, a tacit condition that Trump has managed to override.
If the agreement with the Emirates forced Israel to cancel its plans for annexation of the Palestinian West Bank, the one signed with Bahrain does not include any explicit conditions. Or at least it hasn’t been made public until now. It is understood that the pact has the consent of Saudi Arabia, Bahrain’s main patron in the region, so it is not ruled out that more peace agreements may be reached in the coming weeks. “I have confidence that there will be new agreements“Said Trump from the White House in a statement in which he referred to the Saudi autocrat, Mohamed Bin Salman, accused of dismembering journalists and purging dissent in the kingdom as “a great gentleman.”