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Netanyahu to Pay a Visit to Bahrain    11/24 06:11


   JERUSALEM (AP) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday 
that he spoke with the crown prince of Bahrain and would visit the Gulf state 
soon, a month after the two countries established formal diplomatic relations.

   Bahrain's foreign minister visited Israel last week in a mark of the warming 
ties between the two countries following the signing of U.S.-brokered accords 
in September. In October, the two countries established formal ties, and signed 
a series of agreements to promote bilateral cooperation.

   Netanyahu said in a statement released on social media that he spoke with 
Bahraini Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad about "the fact that we can bring the 
fruits of peace to our peoples and to our countries in a very short time."

   The prime minister said the crown prince "invited me to come in the near 
future for an official visit to Bahrain, and I will do this on your behalf," 
referring to Israeli citizens.

   In the past several months, Israel has signed treaties to normalize ties 
with Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Sudan, the first Arab states to do 
so in decades. But the deals orchestrated by the Trump administration have 
outraged the Palestinians, who have long counted on a united Arab stance that 
recognition of Israel should come only after they achieve an independent state.

   On Monday, Israeli media reported that Netanyahu visited Saudi Arabia and 
met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Israel and Saudi Arabia have 
fostered clandestine security cooperation over their shared interest in 
countering regional rival Iran.

   These breakthroughs reflect a changing Middle East in which Israel and the 
Gulf countries view Iran as a mutual threat that eclipses the decades-old 
conflict with the Palestinians.

   Until this year's accords, Egypt and Jordan were the only Arab states to 
recognize Israel after signing peace accords in 1979 and 1994, respectively.

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