Israel and Bahrain Solidify Peace, Sign 8 MOUs on Diplomatic Relations

October 19, 2020 by Aryeh Savir - TPS
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Israeli and Bahraini teams met in Manama on Sunday to formally establish diplomatic relations and sign eight Memorandum of Understandings (MOU) on a broad spectrum of mutual interests, a month after the two countries signed a peace accord on the lawns of the White House.

NSC head Meir Ben-Shabbat (L) and Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani sign a joint communique. (Haim Zach/GPO)

Israel’s National Security Council head Meir Ben-Shabbat, who is leading the Israeli delegation, and Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani signed a joint communique on the establishment of “diplomatic, peaceful and friendly relations between the Kingdom of Bahrain and the State of Israel.”

At the signing ceremony, the director generals of the relevant ministries also signed MOUs on economic and trade relations, telecommunications, commerce, air services, movement of people, banking and financial services, cooperation between the foreign ministries and agriculture.

In addition, working groups met to discuss a wide range of additional areas for potential cooperation, including aviation, healthcare, technology, tourism, and agriculture, and to plan their bilateral relationship.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke by telephone with Bahraini Foreign Minister Al Zayani and US Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, who is leading the US delegation to the talks, ahead of the signing in Bahrain.

Netanyahu welcomed the signing and said that “we are making giant steps toward peace.”

Netanyahu also welcomed the first commercial flight from Israel to Bahrain and said that it was “a continuation of the breakthrough toward peace.”

“This chapter is a continuation of determined regional and international efforts to advance peace in the Middle East and is testament to the bold vision and leadership exhibited by the three countries to innovate in diplomacy for sustainable peace and prosperity. The three countries face a range of interdependent challenges and will mutually benefit from today’s historic milestone,” Bahrain’s official news agency stated.

In the meantime, Etihad Airways, Abu Dhabi’s national carrier, made history Monday when it made a first official commercial landing in Ben Gurion Airport.

This is the first airline among the Gulf countries to land in Israel, following the peace agreement signed between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

Israel, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain signed a historic peace agreement at the White House on September 15, the first agreement to be signed between Israel and an Arab country in 25 years.

The UAE was the first major Arab state to recognize Israel since the Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty was signed in October 1994.

Announced on August 13, the Abraham Accords is the first between a Gulf state and Israel and is expected to lead to similar agreements with other Arab countries, possibly Oman or Saudi Arabia.

 

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