Trump announces that Israel, Bahrain will normalize diplomatic relations

President Trump on Friday announced the normalization of diplomatic relations between Bahrain and Israel, the second such breakthrough in recent weeks as the administration works to broker cooperation among Middle Eastern nations.

SOURCE: THE HILL

“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,” Trump said in a joint statement with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and King Hamad bin Isa Salman al-Khalifa of Bahrain.

The news comes roughly a month after Trump announced the normalization of ties between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. Trump has pointed to both announcements as major foreign policy achievements, which he is likely to tout in the closing stretch of the 2020 presidential campaign.

Administration officials had expressed optimism that additional Arab nations would follow suit after the UAE normalized relations with Israel in mid-August.

Bahrain, a small island kingdom near Saudi Arabia, has been a reliable partner for the U.S. It hosted a Peace to Prosperity event in 2019 as part of a push for Middle East peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and it is home to a U.S. Naval fleet.

Bahrain officials are expected to join representatives from Israel and the UAE at the White House next week for a formal signing ceremony.