Bahrain has become the latest Arab nation to agree to normalize ties with Israel as part of a broader diplomatic push by President Trump and his administration to fully integrate the Jewish state into the Middle East, per the AP. Trump announced the agreement on Friday, 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. “Another HISTORIC breakthrough today!” Trump tweeted. The announcement on the 19th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks comes less than a week before Trump hosts a White House ceremony to mark the establishment of full relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. Bahrain’s foreign minister will attend the event.
“There’s no more powerful response to the hatred that spawned 9/11 than this agreement,” Trump told reporters at the White House. It represents another diplomatic win for Trump less than two months before the presidential election and an opportunity to shore up support among pro-Israel evangelical Christians. Just last week, Trump announced agreements in principle for Kosovo to recognize Israel and for Serbia to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Like the UAE agreement, the Bahrain-Israel deal will normalize diplomatic, commercial, and security relations between the two countries. Bahrain, along with Saudi Arabia, had already dropped a prohibition on Israeli flights using its airspace. Saudi acquiescence to the agreements has been considered key to the deals. (Trump has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize for the UAE development.)