President Trump announced on Friday that Bahrain had agreed to normalize relations with Israel, another diplomatic victory for the incoming president following a similar agreement with the United Arab Emirates last month.
Trump said in the Oval Office, “It’s something really, very special. Predicting that the region will” become more secure and prosper “as a result of diplomatic moves.
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“The sand was filled with blood, and now you will see that a lot of sand will be filled with peace,” he said.
According to a formal statement issued by the three countries, they “agreed to establish full diplomatic relations between Israel and the Kingdom of Bahrain.”
“It is a historic breakthrough to establish peace in the Middle East. The statement said that the opening of direct dialogue and relations 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.
The statement said Israel also confirmed that all Muslims could go to the Al Aqsa Mosque and pray, and that other holy sites in Jerusalem would be open to peaceful worshipers of all religions.
Leaders in Israel and Bahrain also praised Trump for “his dedication to peace in the region, his focus on shared challenges, and the practical and unique approach he took to bring his nations together.”
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In the White House, Trump noted the timing of the upcoming deal on the 19th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks: “There is no more powerful response to the 9/11 hatred generated than this agreement.”
This comes after a similar deal between the UAE and Israel was also brokered by the US last month. Friday’s statement said Bahrain accepted Trump’s invitation to join Israel and the UAE at a signing ceremony at the White House on Tuesday, where they would sign a “historic declaration of peace”.
The agreement builds full diplomatic relations with Israel to make Bahrain the fourth Arab country after Egypt, Jordan and the UAE. Other Arab nations believed that recognizing Israel also included Oman and Sudan.
In a call with reporters, White House adviser Jared Kushner said it took Israel 72 years to make its first two peace agreements, and two more have taken place in the last 29 days – describing it as a sign that The area is changing.
“We are seeing the beginning of a new Middle East and the president has really tried to push the alliance and partners forward,” he said.
He argued that Trump “operates from a position of power,” noting the enforcement of a red line in Syria following a chemical weapons attack, a “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran, and of the U.S. Embassy’s Jersuelam Move to
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The latest diplomatic victory for the White House also came a week after Trump signed an agreement between Serbia and Kosovo that normalized economic relations between those two countries.
That arrangement also included Kosovo recognizing Israel, and Serbia agreed to move its embassy to Jerusalem – as did the US with its embassy in 2017.
Fox News’ Brooke Singman and The Associated Press contributed to this report.