Are More Gulf States About to Normalize Ties With Israel?

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, Emirati Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan, center, and Bahraini Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa at the White House, Washington, Sept. 15, 2020 (AP photo by Alex Brandon).
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, Emirati Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan, center, and Bahraini Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa at the White House, Washington, Sept. 15, 2020 (AP photo by Alex Brandon).

The normalization agreements that the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain signed with Israel last month were billed by President Donald Trump as marking “the dawn of a new Middle East.” In reality, though, the so-called Abraham Accords merely formalize and bring into the open the pragmatic working relationships with Israel that the UAE and Bahrain have built over the past decade, based in part on both Gulf countries’ desire to reinforce their images as modern states that embrace principles of interfaith dialogue. Some other members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, a six-country regional bloc, have also cultivated unofficial ties with […]

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