republicworld– Bahrain’s foreign minister is expected to visit Israel on Wednesday in the latest sign of warming ties following a series of U.S.-brokered normalization accords between Israel and Arab nations.
Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid Alzayani will fly into Tel Aviv and hold meetings in Jerusalem with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other top officials. He will also take part in a trilateral meeting with Netanyahu and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is also expected to arrive Wednesday, according to the Israeli Foreign Ministry.
Bahrain followed the United Arab Emirates in agreeing to establish full diplomatic ties with Israel earlier this year. The breakthrough reflects the changing Middle East in which Israel and the Gulf countries view Iran as a shared threat that eclipses the decades-old conflict with the Palestinians.
Sudan also agreed to establish ties with Israel as part of a larger agreement with the United States that will pave the way for much-needed foreign aid following last year’s overthrow of longtime President Omar al-Bashir.
The Trump administration hailed all three agreements as historic breakthroughs in the lead-up to the election. President-elect Joe Biden also welcomed the agreements and is expected to build on them as he presses Israel and the Palestinians to return to peace negotiations.
Before this year’s accords, only Egypt and Jordan had recognized Israel, as part of peace treaties negotiated more than 25 years ago. Israel hopes to cultivate much warmer ties with the Gulf countries, aiming for cooperation across various fields, including tourism and public health.
In normalizing ties with Israel, the three nations broke with a longstanding Arab consensus that recognition should only be granted in return for concessions in the peace process. The Palestinians condemned the normalization accords as a betrayal of their cause.
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