Al Khalifa said Bahrain views peace with Israel “as an essential step for broader relations to benefit the countries and peoples in the region.”
By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News
Following a historic direct flight from Tel Aviv to Manama, Israeli and Bahraini officials signed the first-ever peace agreement between the Jewish state and the Gulf nation.
This marks the fourth peace agreement between Israel and an Arab country since Israel’s establishment in 1948 and comes just weeks after the establishment of diplomatic relations with the United Arab Emirates.
The full text of the agreement, which Bahrain referred to as a “joint communiqué on the establishment of diplomatic, peaceful, and friendly relations,” was not released to the public, but includes eight bilateral agreements between the nations.
The agreement was signed by Meir Ben-Shabbat, Israel’s National Security adviser, and Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani, who signed the Abraham Accords at a White House ceremony last month.
According to a summary released by the Prime Minister’s office, Israel and Bahrain will cooperate in the fields of agriculture, civil aviation, and communications. Additionally, there will be cooperation between each nation’s chamber of commerce and finance ministry.
Several officials spoke after the agreement was signed, including U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, who helped broker the deal. “This is truly a remarkable accomplishment,” he said.
“We started the day as friends and we’re concluding it as family members — members of the family of Abraham,” said Ben-Shabbat.
“Today, we put in place the foundations through which we can reach this goal, establishing a practical framework to advance both our bilateral cooperation and our ongoing partnership our countries enjoy with the United States of America,” said Al-Zayani.
“My hope is that this visit marks another step forward on the road to a truly peaceful, secure, stable, and thriving Middle East, one in which all states, races and faiths resolve differences through dialogue and develop for our children a new reality of coexistence and prosperity,” he said.
Bahraini Deputy Prime Minister Mohammed bin Mubarak Al Khalifa spoke to Ben-Shabbat at his office after the agreement. During their meeting, Al Khalifa said Bahrain views peace with Israel “as an essential step for broader relations to benefit the countries and peoples in the region.”
It’s unclear if the agreement will need to be approved by the Israeli Knesset. The UAE-Israel peace deal was approved by the Knesset earlier this week.