President Trump on Friday announced that Bahrain has agreed to normalize relations with Israel, another diplomatic win for the president coming after a similar agreement with the United Arab Emirates just last month.
“This is really something special, very, very special,” Trump said in the Oval Office, predicting that the region “will become more secure and prosperous” as a result of the diplomatic moves.
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“The sand was loaded up with blood, and now you’ll see a lot of that sand will be loaded up with peace,” he said.
According to a formal statement issued by the three countries, they agreed to “the establishment of full diplomatic relations between Israel and the Kingdom of Bahrain.”
“This is a historic breakthrough to further peace in the Middle East. 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,” the statement said.
The statement said that Israel had also affirmed that all Muslims may visit and pray at the Al Aqsa Mosque, and Jerusalem’s other holy sites will remain open for peaceful worshippers of all faiths.
The leaders of Israel and Bahrain also praised Trump for “his dedication to peace in the region, his focus on shared challenges, and the pragmatic and unique approach he has taken to bringing their nations together.”
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In the White House, Trump noted the timing of the deal, coming on the 19th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks: “There’s no more powerful response to the hatred that spawned 9/11 than this agreement.”
It comes after a similar deal between the UAE and Israel, also brokered by the U.S., last month. Friday’s statement said that Bahrain had also accepted Trump’s invitation to join Israel and the UAE at a signing ceremony on Tuesday at the White House, where they will be signing a “historic Declaration of Peace.”
The agreement makes Bahrain the fourth Arab country, after Egypt, Jordan and the UAE, to have full diplomatic ties with Israel. Other Arab nations believed to be in the running for also recognizing Israel include Oman and Sudan.
In a call with reporters, White House adviser Jared Kushner said that it took Israel 72 years to form its first two peace agreement, and there have been two more in the last 29 days — describing it as a sign that the region is changing.
“We’re seeing the beginning of a new Middle East and the president has really secured alliances and partners in trying to pursue that,” he said.
He went on to argue that Trump “operates from a position of strength,” noting the enforcement of a red line in Syria after a chemical weapons attack, the “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran, and the moving of the U.S. embassy to Jersualem
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The latest diplomatic victory for the White House also came a week after Trump oversaw the signing of an agreement between Serbia and Kosovo that normalized economic relations between those two countries.
That arrangement also included Kosovo recognizing Israel, and Serbia agreeing to move its embassy to Jerusalem — as the U.S. had done with its embassy in 2017.
Fox News’ Brooke Singman and The Associated Press contributed to this report.