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Historic: Trump announces Israel and Bahrain peace agreement

Peace is breaking out across the Middle East, or so it would seem after a major development on Friday. President Donald Trump has announced details of a peace deal between Israel and Bahrain that is the second such agreement in four weeks.

“The second Arab country to make peace with Israel in 30 days,” he wrote on Twitter. Last month, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) agreed to normalize relations between it and Israel ending decades long state of hostility that had existed between the two nations.

“Another historic breakthrough today!” Trump wrote, adding: “Our two GREAT friends Israel and the Kingdom of Bahrain agree to a Peace Deal.”

The move represents another diplomatic victory for Trump, who has branded himself a peacemaker and has sought to end U.S. involvement in foreign wars—coming two months before the November election.

For decades, a number of Arab nations have boycotted Israel, saying they would establish ties if its Palestinian dispute were settled.

Trump announced the agreement following a three-way phone call he had with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. The three leaders also issued a brief six-paragraph joint statement, attesting to the deal.

“There’s no more powerful response to the hatred that spawned 9/11 than this agreement,” Trump told reporters at the White House.

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“This is a historic breakthrough to further peace in the Middle East,” Trump, Netanyahu, and Bahrain’s King Hamad said in the statement. “Opening direct dialogue and ties 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.”

Of the Palestinians, their statement said the parties will continue “to achieve a just, comprehensive, and enduring resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to enable the Palestinian people to realize their full potential.”

The deal will normalize commercial, security, and diplomatic relations between Israel and Bahrain.

“This is very fast,” White House adviser Jared Kushner told The Associated Press. “The region is responding very favorably to the UAE deal and hopefully it’s a sign that even more will come.”

In an announcement the White House promoted the significance of the deal for the Middle East:

  1. Thanks to President Trump’s leadership, the Arab world is experiencing the most rapid geopolitical transformation in more than a generation. As more countries normalize relations with Israel, the region is becoming more stable, secure, and prosperous.
  2. Expanded business and financial ties between economies will accelerate growth and economic opportunity across the region.
  3. Agreements with Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates also help to advance President Trump’s vision for finding a fair and lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
  4. The United States will continue to stand with the people of the region as they work to build a brighter, more hopeful future.

The other Arab countries to have normalized relations with Israel are Egypt and Jordan but those agreements were before most Americans or Israelis were born.

Officials said that Bahrain will join a Sept. 14 signing ceremony along with Israel and the UAE at the White House.

The agreement deals a major blow to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and terrorist organizations such as Gaza-based Hamas and Hezbollah, who criticized the Israel-UAE deal when it was signed last month. Palestinian arabs had met the news by refusing to take part street protests organized by the Palestinian Authority. Polls show that average Palestinians are ready for peace even if their leaders are not.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed the deal.

“Citizens of Israel, I am excited to inform you that tonight we will reach another peace agreement with another Arab country, Bahrain,” Netanyahu said, according to the Times of Israel. “This follows the historic peace agreement with the UAE. It took us 26 years to get from the second peace agreement with an Arab state to the third peace agreement, and it took us not 26 years but 29 days to reach the peace agreement between the third Arab state and the fourth Arab state, and there will be more.”

The news comes after another major development was obscured last week. That was the economic agreement between Serbia and Kosovo, parts of the former Yugoslavia, who have been hostile towards one another for decades.

–Metro Voice and Wire services