Government approves Bahrain normalization deal

The cabinet has approved the normalization deal with the Arab Gulf state of Bahrain.

The deal next requires ratification by the Knesset. A date for that vote has not yet been set.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office says government ministers green-lit “preparation of peaceful, diplomatic and friendly relations between the state of Israel and the Kingdom of Bahrain.”

Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid al-Zayani amd Israeli National Security Advisor Meir Ben Shabbat, at the signing ceremony of a peace agreement between Israel and Bahrain, in Manama, October 18, 2020. (Matty Stern/US Embassy Jerusalem)

Sunday’s vote was largely a formality after the two countries last week agreed to establish diplomatic relations in the wake of signing a US-brokered agreement in September. The two countries had long harbored close, clandestine security cooperation over a shared enmity of regional rival Iran.

— AP