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Israel sends treaty delegation to Bahrain with Trump aides

An Israeli delegation accompanied by the U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin flew to Bahrain to formalize relations and broaden Gulf cooperation against Iran. @DanWilliams reports from the trip

10/18/2020 3:21:00 PM

An Israel i delegation accompanied by the U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin flew to Bahrain to formalize relations and broaden Gulf cooperation against Iran . DanWilliams reports from the trip

An Israel i delegation accompanied by the U.S. treasury secretary arrived in Bahrain on Sunday to formalise nascent relations and broaden Gulf cooperation that Washington has promoted as an anti- Iran bulwark and potential economic bonanza.

Bahrain followed the United Arab Emirates in agreeing last month to normalise ties with Israel, stunning Palestinians who had demanded statehood before any such regional rapprochement.The breakthrough, overseen by U.S. President Donald Trump, is a foreign policy flourish ahead of his re-election bid next month. For the U.S. allies, it is a chance to close ranks on Iran more overtly.

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The Israeli delegation, which flew on an El Al Israel Airlines charter flight from Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv, was accompanied by U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.At a ceremony with Mnuchin before take-off, U.S. Middle East envoy Avi Berkowitz said that Israel and Bahrain would sign a joint communique “bringing forward tourism and banking and diplomatic relations”.

“I think the opportunity is way beyond just investments,” Mnuchin told reporters on the El Al flight. “It’s in technology, building various different businesses - and in the case of Bahrain as well, really expanding the opportunities for them quite, quite, quite dramatically.”

Israel and Bahrain signed a “Declaration of Peace, Cooperation, and Constructive Diplomatic and Friendly Relations” at a White House ceremony on Sept. 15, a document that fell short of a formal treaty.RELATIONSHIP UPGRADEAn official involved in the visit said the communique would upgrade the relationship between the two countries.

Slideshow( 4 images )Israeli National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat, speaking in Arabic at an arrival ceremony at Manama airport, said: “This is a great day ... We look forward, Inshallah (God willing), to hosting you in Israel soon.”Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al-Zayani echoed the sentiments.

“This approach of engagement and cooperation is the most effective, the most sustainable means to bring about a genuine and lasting peace, one which safeguards the rights of the Middle East peoples,” he saidThe signing of the declaration, however, drew anger among Bahrainis at home and abroad. Bahrain, where a Sunni Muslim minority rules a Shi’ite majority population, has said the deal protects its interests from Iran.

The Trump administration has been trying to secure more such deals for Israel ahead of the U.S. election and Mnuchin said he hoped the process would continue regardless of who wins at the polls.El Al Flight 973, a nod to Bahrain’s telephone code, flew over Saudi Arabia, an accommodation by the Gulf powerhouse that has so far resisted U.S. appeals to normalise ties with Israel.

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Mnuchin and the other U.S. officials travel on Monday to the UAE, where the accord with Israel has uncorked bilateral commerce. On Tuesday the U.S. dignitaries will join the UAE’s first delegation to Israel.Though less oil-rich than the UAE, Bahrain - host to the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet - has geo-strategic significance.

A Sept. 13 report by Israel’s Intelligence Ministry saw potential for defence cooperation with Bahrain, describing it as threatened by “Shiite political sedition, directed by Iran and its proxies”.A Bahraini source said that a priority for Manama would be cybersecurity cooperation after a decree issued by the king last week to set up a National Cybersecurity Centre, as well as tapping Israel’s ecosystem for business startups.

Additional reporting by Aziz El Yaakoubi and Ghaida Ghantous in Dubai; Editing by Rami Ayyub and David Goodman Read more: Reuters Top News »

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DanWilliams Wonderful but what about the stimulus package, not a good time for international traveling DanWilliams We will not forgive Bahrain's bloody betrayal. DanWilliams It would be perfect if munchin were left behind.WMD DanWilliams Appalling DanWilliams The few high scores of this administration. Give credit where credit if due, however because of torture and human experimentation some discoveries were made in Nazi concentration camps too. You did a lousy job when the high scores can be counted 😉

DanWilliams Dan any i dea why mnuchin is joining? a bit odd DanWilliams Using Israel & Bahrain against Iran after what Israel, USA, UK did to Iran? This is US 'fear' growing as embargo expires! War mongering at it's core! Shame on USA. 'Stuxnet' anyone? We raped, plundered & abandoned Iran, take responsibility & leave them alone!

DanWilliams Even a global pandemic doesn't stop the drums of war.... DanWilliams IF MNUCHIN is involved---'THERE's SOMETHING CROOKED GOING ON'!! trump is 'UP TO HIS 'AMPLE BUTT' in SELLING OUT AMERICA'-- FOR HIS OWN PROFIT!! DanWilliams Iran is the greatest sponsor of terrorism in the Middle East. Good to see Israel and Arabs states joining up to fight the threat of Iranian hegemony.

DanWilliams I see we are working on 'America First' as he is working hard on a stimulus package- oh wait he is not in America DanWilliams Arms Deal in front of our eyes DanWilliams EndSARS DanWilliams Someone in the Trump administration actually trying to play government. Must not be Mnuchin’s day to supervise Don’s diaper and screen time

DanWilliams Munchkin on the move. Oz next? DanWilliams DanWilliams Munchkin on the move. Oz next? DanWilliams EndSARS EndSARS EndSARS EndSARS EndSARS EndSARS EndSARS EndSARS EndSARS EndSARS EndSARS EndSARS EndSARS EndSARS EndSARS EndSARS EndSARS We Move DanWilliams Trump is stopping wars and conflicts. Democrats are sad because they can't sell more bombs.

Mnuchin to lead U.S. delegation to Israel, Bahrain, UAE Oct. 17-20Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will lead a U.S. delegation traveling to Israel , Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates on Oct. 17-20, the Treasury Department said in a statement on Friday. So much for working out a stimulus for the American people. MIDDLE EAST FIRST. so no stimulus deal Danger danger!!!!

Israel, Bahrain to officially commence diplomatic ties at special ceremonyAn Israel i and Bahrain i government delegation will formally sign a joint deal to officially establish diplomatic relations at a special ceremony on Sunday evening in Manama.

Mnuchin to lead U.S. delegation to Israel, Bahrain, UAE Oct. 17-20Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will lead a U.S. delegation traveling to Israel , Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates on Oct. 17-20, the Treasury Department said in a statement on Friday. So much for working out a stimulus for the American people. MIDDLE EAST FIRST. so no stimulus deal Danger danger!!!!

US, Israeli envoys fly to Bahrain to advance nascent tiesA joint American- Israel i delegation is heading to Bahrain on a direct commercial flight between Israel and the Gulf Arab state. Israel i and Bahrain i officials are expected to sign several bilateral agreements. good

Israel, Bahrain to officially commence diplomatic ties at special ceremonyAn Israel i and Bahrain i government delegation will formally sign a joint deal to officially establish diplomatic relations at a special ceremony on Sunday evening in Manama.

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