Saturday, 26 Sep 2020

Bahrain reportedly will be fourth Arab country to recognize Israel

The island kingdom of Bahrain reportedly will be the fourth Arab country to normalize diplomatic relations with Israel — and the second as part of a Trump administration peace initiative.

Bahrain will follow the United Arab Emirates’ decision last month to recognize Israel’s statehood, Israeli public broadcasting journalist Amichai Stein wrote on Twitter.

Stein reported that Bahrain’s crown prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa will be in Washington, DC, on Monday for the announcement.

On Tuesday, President Trump is scheduled to host Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Emirati foreign affairs minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan at the White House.

A Norwegian official nominated Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize this week for his role in the UAE-Israel deal, which includes the establishment of direct commercial flights.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Post about Bahrain.

If accurate, the development is another major achievement for Trump as part of a peace initiative led by his son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner, who hosted a conference in Bahrain last year focused on Israeli-Palestinian peace.

Kushner, who is married to first daughter Ivanka Trump, helped orchestrate the UAE’s normalization of relations with Israel after working on the Israel-Palestine peace plan.

Trump alluded this week to other nations wanting to join the UAE in recognizing Israel. He often credits himself with wiping aside decades of disputes regarding Israel, which he said introduced new realism into the long-running conflict.

As president, Trump moved the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, a lightly populated mountainous area seized from Syria in 1967 after it was used to shell Israeli areas.

Another Muslim-majority country, Kosovo, last week agreed to recognize Israel as part of a US-mediated normalization of trade relations with Serbia.

Egypt was the first Arab country to recognize Israel, in 1979, followed by Jordan in 1994.

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