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Bahrain to normalise relations with Israel

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Bahrain has joined the United Arab Emirates in striking an agreement to normalise relations with Israel, US President Donald Trump says, in part of a broader diplomatic push by US President Donald Trump and his administration to fully integrate the Jewish state into the Middle East.

Mr Trump tweeted out the news after he spoke by phone to both Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the White House said.

A joint statement issued by the three leaders said they had agreed on “establishment of full diplomatic relations between Israel and the Kingdom of Bahrain”.

“This is a historic breakthrough to further peace in the Middle East. Opening direct dialogue and ties between these two dynamic societies and advanced economies will continue the positive transformation of the Middle East and increase stability, security, and prosperity in the region,” the joint statement said.

The Israel-UAE accord, announced August 13, is to be signed on Tuesday at the White House.

The statement said Bahrain accepted Mr Trump’s invitation to join Israel and the UAE at the signing ceremony.

It said Mr Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al Zayani of Bahrain will be signing a “historic Declaration of Peace” at the event.

Mr Netanyahu welcomed the agreement and thanked Mr Trump.

“It took us 26 years between the second peace agreement with an Arab country and the third, but only 29 days between the third and the fourth, and there will be more,” he said, referring to the 1994 peace treaty with Jordan and the more recent agreements.

The agreement makes Bahrain the fourth Arab country, after Egypt, Jordan and the UAE, to have full diplomatic ties with Israel.

The parties “will continue their efforts in this regard to achieve a just, comprehensive, and enduring resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to enable the Palestinian people to realise their full potential,” the joint statement said.

-with agencies