Netanyahu says he will visit Bahrain soon, has ‘friendly’ talk with crown prince

“Both of us are very moved by the fact that we can bring peace to our peoples and our countries in a very short time,” said Netanyahu.

By Associated Press

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday that he spoke with the crown prince of Bahrain and would visit the Gulf state soon, a month after the two countries established formal diplomatic relations.

“I just spoke with Bahraini Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa. This was our second conversation; it was very friendly,” Netanyahu said.

“Both of us are very moved by the fact that we can bring peace to our peoples and our countries in a very short time. Therefore, he also invited me to make an official visit to Bahrain soon. I will do so, on your behalf, with pleasure.”

Bahrain’s foreign minister visited Israel last week in a mark of the warming ties between the two countries following the signing of U.S.-brokered accords in September. In October, the two countries established formal ties, and signed a series of agreements to promote bilateral cooperation.

In the past several months, Israel has signed treaties to normalize ties with Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Sudan, the first Arab states to do so in decades. But the deals orchestrated by the Trump administration have outraged the Palestinians, who have long counted on a united Arab stance that recognition of Israel should come only after they achieve an independent state.

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On Monday, Israeli media reported that Netanyahu visited Saudi Arabia and met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Israel and Saudi Arabia have fostered clandestine security cooperation over their shared interest in countering regional rival Iran.

These breakthroughs reflect a changing Middle East in which Israel and the Gulf countries view Iran as a mutual threat that eclipses the decades-old conflict with the Palestinians.

Until this year’s accords, Egypt and Jordan were the only Arab states to recognize Israel after signing peace accords in 1979 and 1994, respectively.