Another Arab state has expressed its dedication to the Palestinian cause as the intended “domino effect” of the Israel-UAE deal starts to crumble.
Rabat – King Hamad of Bahrain confirmed during a visit of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that Bahrain is committed to Palestinian statehood. The king of Bahrain and Mike Pompeo held a meeting on August 26 as part of a US diplomatic tour following the signing of the Abraham Accords.
Bahrain’s king on Wednesday stressed that a resolution to the Israel-Palestine conflict could only materialize through “the two-state solution that achieves a just and comprehensive peace,” reported the state-sponsored Bahrain News Agency. The monarch further highlighted the importance of “the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.”
The country committed to continue to work with the United States on security issues and its shared opposition to Iranian influence in the region. However, normalization was clearly one step too far. Pompeo made no reference to the normalization push in a tweet outlining his visit to Bahrain.
Trump administration diplomats saw the UAE-Israel deal as the first of many agreements between countries that have supported Palestine and the state of Israel. The Trump administration had hoped to realize one or more agreements in the near future. Yet three out of four countries on the tour have now expressed support for Palestine instead.
Proponents saw Bahrain, Morocco, and Saudi Arabia as prospects for normalization agreements with Israel. All three countries have instead issued statements that expressly refused normalization with Israel amid the current status quo. Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok on August 26 stated his transitional government has “no mandate” to establish new diplomatic ties with Israel.
Pompeo’s next stop after Bahrain was Oman, where he made a visit on Thursday to the palace of Sultan Haitham bin Tariq. The new sultan recently succeeded his cousin Qaboos bin Said, who died on January 10. Oman is one of the nations who the US expects could sway toward rapprochement with Israel. Oman holds an important role as a neutral player in the Sunni-Shia tensions in the region and might endanger its credibility in this function if it chooses to normalize relations with Israel.
The country has yet to say whether it will follow the UAE with its own agreement, but has praised the Abraham Accords.