Bahrain has finally joined the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and has become the second Gulf country to establish full diplomatic relations with Israel. By joining UAE it normalizes its ties with the Jewish state and is reshaping politics in the Middle East. According to the Bahrain officials, this agreement will help in promoting peace in the region; which is a position that is not shared by its neighbour Iran. The government in Tehran, which supports the island nation’s majority Shiite population, warned the deal will further destabilize the region.
On Friday, a joint statement between the United States, Bahrain; and Israel read that “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.”
This move by Bahrain is also being praised by President Donald Trump. Plus tomorrow he is scheduled to host leaders from Israel and the UAE in Washington for a signing ceremony at the White House. He also stated that the nation’s leaders had shown “vision and courage” by reaching the accord; and confirmed that Bahrain’s foreign minister would join the 15th September event.
This move is really beneficial for the US president as his claims ahead of the November election; will help bring peace to the Middle East; and will also see success in efforts to extract US forces from the region. It will also come as a welcome development for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whose support domestically has taken a hit over corruption charges and his response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Events led to an alarm in Iran and Palestine territory:
The events going on have been seen with alarm by officials in Iran and the Palestinian territories. The agreement was quickly announced as a betrayal by Palestinian officials. They called it a “torpedoing” of an Arab-led peace initiative. Soon after the announcement, the Palestinian government recalled their ambassador to Bahrain. Plus, the agreement was condemned by Iran’s foreign ministry.
The ministry said in a statement posted on their official Telegram channel “From now on, the rulers of Bahrain; will be complicit in Israel’s murders as a source; of the constant threat to the region and the Islamic world.” It also warned against “any insecurity posed by Israel;” adding it will hold Bahrain responsible for all consequences.
As soon as Trump’s government took the office he has sought to build a unified coalition in the region against Tehran while pushing an Israeli-Palestinian peace plan that had minimal input by Palestinian leaders, who long ago said Trump’s embrace of Israel, made the US an unacceptable partner in negotiations.
While Bahrain is a tiny island with the smallest economy among the six Gulf Cooperation Council members; its decision to formalize relations with Israel is certain to prompt debate over whether its larger neighbour; and ally Saudi Arabia to which it’s connected by a causeway may have tacitly approved the deal.
On Bahrain’s decision Ayham Kamel, head of the Middle East and North Africa at Eurasia Group; which advises clients on political risk said “it’s implicitly a signal from Riyadh that; it has granted its blessing to the normalization of relations with Israel. Saudi Arabia is unable and unwilling to join normalization; without concession to the Palestinians a new regional order.”