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Scoop: Israel and Bahrain sign diplomatic relations on Sunday

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

Why it matters: The document, which will be signed on Sunday, is an important step forward from the general “declaration of peace” signed in the White House on September 15, but still not in a full treaty like the one between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

Backstage: Sources briefed on the talks between the parties say the Bahraini asked to sign a joint communication for now rather than a full treaty. The Bahraini want to move more gradually than the UAE because of domestic criticism in Bahrain against the normalization movement.

Status of the game: The “joint communication”

; will be signed by senior Israeli and Bahraini officials, with Finance Minister Steve Mnuchin and White House envoy Avi Berkowitz also present at the signing ceremony in Manama on Sunday.

Sources informed about ‘joint communication’ told me that it will include these principles:

  • Israel and Bahrain will establish full diplomatic relations, open embassies and exchange ambassadors.
  • Both countries will not engage in hostile acts against each other and will act to prevent such acts on their territories by third parties.
  • Both countries will commit to coexistence and to education for peace.
  • Israel and Bahrain will sign agreements on: finance and investment, civil aviation, tourism, trade, science and technology, telecommunications, healthcare, agriculture, water, energy and legal cooperation.

What they say: “The purpose of the communication is to start implementing the declaration signed in Washington, put more meat in it, make it more detailed and define the principles of relations between the countries. It will be the umbrella of all bilateral agreements to be signed in the next few months, ”said a source who was briefed on the plans.

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

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