Reactions To Israel And Bahrain Normalizing Relations
In the aftermath of the Israel-Bahrain agreement to forge diplomatic relations, several countries in the region have reacted to the second Gulf-region country’s decision to establish ties with Israel.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he was "excited" that "another peace agreement" had been reached with one more Arab country.
"This is a new era of peace. Peace for peace. Economy for the economy. We have invested in peace for many years and now peace will invest in us," he said.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted: “The President kept his promise to strengthen America’s friendships and build new partnerships in pursuit of peace. There is clear momentum for the new Middle East. I thank King Hamad and Prime Minister Netanyahu for having the courage to change the fate of nations.”
The Foreign Ministry of United Arab Emirates (UAE) congratulated Israel and Bahrain on normalizing their relations and called it a step toward stability and prosperity in the region. UAE had made the same move in August.
The President of Egypt Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi welcomed the normalization of relations between Israel and Bahrain and called it a "step toward peace and stability in the Middle East" and thanked both sides for taking this "historic step".
Saudi Arabia, as the biggest supporter of Bahrain, has not taken a clear stance regarding the agreement. Sources inside Trump administration who have been involved in the efforts to persuade Saudi Arabia to normalize relations with Israel say it seems unlikely for now.
Palestinian groups have condemned the agreement, with the Foreign Minister of the Palestinian Authority recalling its ambassador from Manama and condemning Bahrain's decision as "treason to Al-Quds, Al-Aqsa Mosque, and the issue of Palestine."
The spokesperson for Hamas also condemned the agreement and said the weak response by the Arab countries to the Israel and UAE agreement led to other countries moving toward normalization of relations with Israel.
One Iranian parliamentary official also warned UAE and Bahrain against “clearing the way for Israel’s plans in the region.”