On Friday, King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of Bahrain officially agreed to recognize the State of Israel in a trilateral phone conversation with US President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“The EU welcomes the announced establishment of diplomatic relations between the Kingdom of Bahrain and Israel,” the statement, released by the European Council, read.
Brussels acknowledged the role of the United States in facilitating this and a similar landmark agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, describing it as a “positive contribution to peace and stability in the Middle East.”
“The EU recalls its Declaration of 15 August 2020 and its longstanding position that a comprehensive settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict requires a regional inclusive approach and engagement with both parties. In this regard, the EU remains firm in its commitment to a negotiated and viable two-state solution built upon the internationally agreed parameters,” the statement added.
The European Union reasserted its readiness to support Israel and Palestine in their efforts to resume “meaningful negotiations on all final status issues.”
Bahrain became the fourth Arab country to recognize Israel. The first two were Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994.
On 13 August, Israel and the United Arab Emirates agreed to normalize ties, which among other things entailed Israel giving up its annexation plans in the West Bank. The two countries are planning to sign a variety of agreements for cooperation in investments, tourism, security and other areas in the coming weeks. The US expects other countries of the region to follow the lead.
Palestine has called on fellow Arab nations to reconsider recognizing Israel, which, in turn, has not recognized the Palestinian state.
The United Nations stands by the so-called two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which means a peaceful coexistence of two sovereign states within mutually acceptable borders.