09/12/2020, 09.36
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Trump announces a 'peace agreement' between Bahrain and Israel

Talks for full diplomatic and commercial relations also announced. Bahrain follows the Arab Emirates. No preconditions for the birth of a Palestinian state. Palestinians label the agreement a betrayal. Iran, an enemy in common.

Manama (AsiaNews) - Almost a month after the peace agreement between the Emirates and Israel, Bahrain has also decided to launch talks for diplomatic and commercial relations with the State of Israel. The move was announced yesterday by US President Donald Trump, who spoke of a "truly historic day".

Manama has announced that it will formalize the agreement in a ceremony from the White House on September 15, when the United Arab Emirates will also sign their agreement with Israel.

In Bahrain, the agreement is expected to enhance "security, stability, prosperity" in the region. In Jerusalem, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu applauded the new step. Until now Egypt and Jordan were the only Arab countries to have diplomatic relations with Israel.

A few months before the presidential elections, the agreement represents above all a victory for the Trump administration, which shows renewed US influence in the Middle East, after the failures of recent decades.

The agreement also breaks with the past of the Arab countries that had always made the birth of a Palestinian state a pre-condition of relations with Israel. Now this condition has been removed. It is maintained – and no-one knows for how long - only by Saudi Arabia. The Arab League, once strongly pro-Palestinian, has also given its backing to relations with Israel.

The Palestinians feel betrayed. Ahmad Majdalani, social affairs minister in the Palestinian Authority, classifies the agreement as "a stab in the back for the Palestinian cause and the Palestinian people". For Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, it is "an aggression" that brings "serious prejudice" to the Palestinian cause.

The agreement has an obvious anti-Iranian function: Israel and the Gulf countries, especially Bahrain, with a Shiite majority population, consider Iran an enemy. Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, special adviser to the president of the Majlis in Tehran, only commented that it is a betrayal of the Palestinian cause.

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