Bahrain Set to Normalize Relations With Israel

King of Bahrain Sheikh Hamad bin Issa Al-Khalifah / Getty Images
September 3, 2020

Bahrain is set to be the next Gulf country to normalize relations with Israel, a senior Israeli official told Israel's Kan 11 News Wednesday.

Washington looks to mediate the peace talks between the two countries and hopes to hold the official normalization ceremony before the Jewish holiday Rosh Hashanah, according to the official. 

The report follows the historic peace agreement between the United Arab Emirates and Israel, which was brokered by the United States in August. Like the UAE-Israel deal, the normalization of relations between Bahrain and the Jewish state would likely entail a series of economic and security ties. Just last month, Bahrani prime minister Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa reportedly spoke with Mossad chief Yossi Cohen.

"Israel is historically part of the heritage of this whole region," Bahraini foreign minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa told an Israeli television outlet last year. "So the Jewish people have a place among us."

In the wake of the Emirati peace deal, Trump administration officials hope other Gulf states will normalize ties with Israel as part of an anti-Iranian coalition. Last month, President Donald Trump said that he believes Saudi Arabia—which boasts one of the largest defense budgets in the world—will also sign on to the UAE-Israel agreement.