President Donald Trump on Friday announced a deal between Israel and Bahrain to normalize relations in a bid for peace in the Middle East.
"The second Arab country to make peace with Israel in 30 days," he wrote on Twitter. Last month, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) agreed to normalize relations between it and Israel.
The move represents another diplomatic victory for Trump, who has branded himself a peacemaker and has sought to end U.S. involvement in foreign wars—coming two months before the November election.
For decades, a number of Arab nations have boycotted Israel, saying they would establish ties if its Palestinian dispute were settled.
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.
Of the Palestinians, their statement said the parties will continue “to achieve a just, comprehensive, and enduring resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to enable the Palestinian people to realize their full potential.”
The deal will normalize commercial, security, and diplomatic relations between Israel and Bahrain.
“This is very fast,” White House adviser Jared Kushner told The Associated Press. “The region is responding very favorably to the UAE deal and hopefully it’s a sign that even more will come.”
The other Arab countries to have normalized relations with Israel are Egypt and Jordan.
The agreement deals a major blow to Palestinian leader and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who criticized the Israel-UAE deal when it was signed last month.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed the deal.
“Citizens of Israel, I am excited to inform you that tonight we will reach another peace agreement with another Arab country, Bahrain,” Netanyahu said, according to the Times of Israel. “This follows the historic peace agreement with the UAE. It took us 26 years to get from the second peace agreement with an Arab state to the third peace agreement, and it took us not 26 years but 29 days to reach the peace agreement between the third Arab state and the fourth Arab state, and there will be more.”