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Bahrain to announce normalisation deal with Israel 'very soon': report

Bahrain's Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa with Mike Pompeo in 2019 [Getty]

Date of publication: 3 September, 2020

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Bahrain is set to announce the establishment of official ties with Israel following the signing of the UAE-Israel normalisation deal in mid-September, according to Israeli media
Bahrain is set to announce it will normalise relations with Israel "very soon", according to a report in Hebrew-language outlet Kan 11 News on Wednesday, citing a senior Israeli official.

The Gulf kingdom is hoping to announce its own deal with Israel following one agreed between the UAE and Israel last month, the official said.

The UAE-Israel signing ceremony is slated to take place in Washington DC in mid-September.

Bahrain was among a number of Arab countries that have praised UAE's deal with Israel, but has not yet made any public comments about whether it will establish ties with the country, which is officially boycotted due to its occupation of Palestinian territories.

Following the announcement of the UAE-Israel deal in August, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and President Donald Trump's adviser Jared Kushner made separate trips to the Middle East, reportedly to encourage other nations to take a similar step.

In talks with Pompeo last months, Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa said his country remains committed to the Arab Peace Initiative - which calls for Israel's complete withdrawal from the Palestinian territories occupied after 1967 in exchange for peace and the full normalisation of relations.

Read also: After UAE-Israel deal, which Arab countries could be next?

Among the other countries said to be considering normalisation with Israel are Oman and Sudan.

Although Bahrain and Israel have no official ties, they have been seen as moving closer in recent years.

Manama hosted a senior Israeli official at a security conference in 2019, as well as a conference organised by Kushner on investment opportunities in the Palestinian economy as part of Trump’s Middle East peace plan.

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