WASHINGTON: Bahrain has become the latest Arab nation to agree to normalise ties with Israel as part of a broader diplomatic push by President Donald Trump and his administration.
The latest move follows a historic deal that UAE, US and Israel reached on August 13.
Trump announced the agreement on Friday, following a three-way phone call he had with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. The three leaders also issued a brief six-paragraph joint statement, attesting to the deal.
Bahrain has agreed to formalize the deal with Israel at a ceremony on September 15 at the White House, where the United Arab Emirates will also sign off on its own deal with Israel announced in mid-August.
The announcement on the 19th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks came less than a week before Trump hosts a White House ceremony.
It represents another diplomatic win for Trump less than two months before the the presidential election.
UAE welcomes Bahrain decision
The UAE has welcomed the decision by the Kingdom of Bahrain to establish relations with Israel.
In a statement on Friday, the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation commended the move, expressing its hope that establishing relations would have a positive effect on the climate for peace and cooperation regionally and internationally.
The Ministry also noted that the move represents a significant step towards an era of security and prosperity, underscoring that it would expand the scope of economic, cultural, scientific, and diplomatic avenues of cooperation.
The UAE foreign ministry congratulated Bahrain and Israel on their decision to establish full diplomatic relations, ministry spokesperson Hend Al Otaiba, Director of Strategic Communications, Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Twitter on Friday.
The move will contribute to regional stability and prosperity, the statement said.
Friday's Bahrain-Israel deal will normalise diplomatic, commercial, security and other relations between the two countries. Bahrain, along with Saudi Arabia, had already dropped a prohibition on Israeli flights using its airspace.
"This is very fast," Kushner told The Associated Press. "The region is responding very favorably to the UAE deal and hopefully it's a sign that even more will come."
The agreement makes Bahrain the fourth Arab country, after Egypt, Jordan and the UAE, to have full diplomatic ties with Israel.