Israel after a historic agreement with United Arab Emirates has reached a landmark peace deal with Bahrain, President Trump announced on Friday.
“The second Arab country to make peace with Israel in 30 days,” he tweeted. Arabs in the Gulf have ceased to build relations with Israel for occupying Palestinian and other lands for decades however, the long awaited breakthrough came in the last month when UAE agreed to struck a peace deal with Netanyahu-led Israel. Speculations were made that the Gulf nation (Bahrain) will follow suit in a second but nothing significant came from the Kingdom officially.
Trump who revealed his Middle East Peace plan dubbed as “Deal of the Century” in Jan 2020 claimed to persuade Arabs and broker the peace agreement between eternal foes. Bahrain thus became the only fourth Arab national in the Middle East to recognize the Israel since its establishment in 1948; Jordan, Egypt and UAE are the other three states that currently accept Israel.
Netanyahu and Trump
Talking about the accord, Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu said he was “excited” that “another peace agreement” had been finalized with another Arab country on Friday. “This is a new era of peace. Peace for peace. Economy for economy. We have invested in peace for many years and now peace will invest in us,” he said.
“Another historic breakthrough today!” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter, adding: “Our two Great friends Israel and the Kingdom of Bahrain agree to a Peace Deal.”
The President also shared on twitter a copy of a joint statement issued by the three leaders – Trump, King Hamad bin Isa bin Salman al-Khalifa and Netanyahu. “This is a historic break through to further peace in the Middle East” that will “increase stability, security and prosperity in the region”, the statement read.
United Arab Emirates welcome the latest development. The ministry of foreign affairs said it was “another significant and historic achievement which will contribute enormously to the stability and prosperity of the region”. However, the Palestinian authorities expressed their anger and reservations about the move. Palestinian foreign ministry recalled its ambassador to Bahrain for consultation and a written response from the Palestinian leadership recorded the “great harm it causes to the inalienable national rights of the Palestinian people and joint Arab action”.
The Palestinian state has always at least found a unified Arab response on the issues of Israeli withdrawal from their lands and the foundation and recognition of an independent Palestinian state. Hamas which serves Palestinians both as both their political and armed resistance force deemed the move “as a grave harm to the Palestinian cause”. Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, a special adviser on international affairs for the speaker of Iran’s parliament condemned the accord as a betrayal to the Palestinian cause.
The current diplomatic developments in the Middle East are not as simple and out of blue as they look. The never-ending Saudi-Iran rivalry that stoked the enmity for decades played a major role in the fresh breakthroughs. Bahrain and UAE – both sailing in Saudi block – have shared their common worries vis-à-vis Iran, leading to the backdoor diplomatic connections between them and Israel. It will be interesting to see how Saudis response to the new move.