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Scoop: Israel and Bahrain to sign diplomatic relations agreement on Sunday

Israel and Bahrain will sign on Sunday a “joint communication to promote peaceful and diplomatic relations” during a joint Israeli-US delegation visit Manama, Israeli and US officials told me.

Why it matters: The document to be signed on Sunday is a significant step forward from the general “peace declaration” signed in the White House on September 15, but still not a full agreement as between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

Behind the camera: Sources about the talks between the parties said the Bahrainis had asked to sign a joint communication so far, rather than a full agreement. Bahrain wants to move more slowly than UAE due to domestic criticism in Bahrain against normalization of migration.

The state of play: The “joint communication”

; will be signed by senior Israeli and Bahraini officials, along with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and White House commissioner Avi Berkowitz who were also present at the signing ceremony in Manama on Sunday.

Sources for ‘joint communication’ I was told that it would include those principles:

  • Israel and Bahrain will establish full diplomatic relations, open embassies and exchange of ambassadors.
  • Both countries will not participate in any actions that are hostile to each other and will act to prevent those actions in their territories by third parties.
  • Both countries will commit to co-existence and to educate for peace.
  • Israel and Bahrain will sign agreements on: finance and investment, civil aviation, tourism, trade, science and technology, telecommunication, healthcare, agriculture, water, energy and legal cooperation.

What they are saying: “The purpose of the communication is to start implementing the declaration which was signed in Washington, put more meat in it, make it more detailed and define the principles of relations between the countries. This will be umbrella for all bilateral agreements signed over the next few months, “said a source about the plans.

What’s next: Israeli officials said “joint communication” is expected to be approved by the cabinet and possibly by the Knesset, as the UAE agreement was on Thursday.

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