Israel and Bahrain have signed a deal and established formal diplomatic relations.
This makes the small Gulf country the fourth Arab state to normalize ties with Israel.
The United States -brokered agreement capped a one-day visit by a high-level delegation of American and Israeli officials to Bahrain.
Bahrain joined the United Arab Emirates at a festive White House ceremony last month marking the “Abraham Accords,” a pair of U.S.-brokered diplomatic pacts with Israel.
While the UAE’s deal with Israel formally established ties, the agreement with Bahrain was less detailed and included a mutual pledge to follow suit.
The visit on Sunday October 18, 2020, appeared to complete that task, clearing the way for the countries to open embassies and exchange ambassadors in the coming months.
Abdullatif al-Zayani, Bahrain’s foreign minister at the signing ceremony said, “It was indeed an historic visit, to start opening relations between both countries, to have fruitful bilateral relations in both fields.”
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s national security adviser, Meir Ben-Shabbat, led the delegations.
“Today we made the first formal step in bringing closer ties between the countries,” Ben-Shabbat said. “We were accepted with open arms, with warmth and cordiality.”
“This is an important step in stability in the region, in bring prosperity to all the people in the region and in the countries,” added Mnuchin.
Israel’s agreements with the UAE and Bahrain have marked diplomatic victories for the Trump administration and for Netanyahu