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White House to announce Bahrain joining UAE in normalizing ties with Israel

The White House will announce later today that Bahrain is joining the United Arab Emirates in normalizing ties with Israel, senior Israeli and Arab officials tell Axios, and a Trump administration official confirmed.

Driving the news: Israeli officials say that in the last two weeks, the White House has been pressing Bahrain to follow the UAE, which announced last month that it would open full diplomatic relations with Israel.


  • President Trump’s senior adviser Jared Kushner and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo traveled to Manama recently and asked the King and Crown Prince of Bahrain to normalize relations with Israel, sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: The expected deal is a win for the Trump administration, which has sought to broker Middle East peace and strengthen ties with Israel.

  • It's also a major breakthrough for Israel, which lacks diplomatic recognition in many Middle Eastern countries but has been steadily improving relations in the Gulf, largely due to mutual antipathy toward Iran.

The big picture: A "treaty of peace" between the UAE and Israel is expected to be signed next week, mirroring previous agreements between the Israel, Egypt and Jordan. The deal with Bahrain will establish diplomatic relations and normalize talks between the nation and Israel.

  • The Bahraini Crown Prince is expected to travel to Washington next week to attend the signing ceremony, an Israeli and Trump official said.

What to watch: The White House plans to invite ambassadors of Arab countries, even if their nations do not have ties with Israel, to the signing ceremony in an effort to create support for the deal.

The White House did not respond to several requests for comment.

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