The Gulf Kingdom of Bahrain has decided to recognise Israel, US President Donald Trump announced on Friday, on the 19th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in the US.
“There’s no more powerful response to the hatred that spawned 9/11 than this agreement,” Trump told reporters at the White House.
The move followed a similar deal between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Israel last month, and made Bahrain the fourth Arab country to proceed with the recognition.
“This is a historic breakthrough to further peace in the Middle East,” reads a joint statement by US President Trump, King Hamad bin Isa bin Salman al-Khalifa of the Kingdom of Bahrain and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“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 adds.
Joint Statement of the United States, the Kingdom of Bahrain, and the State of Israel pic.twitter.com/xMquRkGtpM
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 11, 2020
Last month, Israeli Intelligence Minister Eli Cohen had stated it expected Bahrain and Oman to follow the UAE in normalising ties with Israel, with Netanyahu calling more countries to “join the peace circle.”
Europe’s top diplomat, Josep Borrell has welcomed the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, citing that it represents “a positive contribution to peace and stability in the Middle East.”
He stressed, however that “a comprehensive settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict requires a regional inclusive approach and engagement with both parties,” as the agreement was another step in isolating Palestinians.