Israel says it expects Bahrain and Oman to follow UAE in formalising ties

Israel and the UAE on Thursday agreed to normalize relations, a move that the Palestinians saw as a betrayal of their cause by the Gulf country.

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Israeli intelligence minister Eli Cohen.

Bahrain and Oman could be the next Gulf countries to follow the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in formalizing ties with Israel, Israel’s intelligence minister said on Sunday.

Israel and the UAE on Thursday agreed to normalize relations, a move that the Palestinians saw as a betrayal of their cause by the Gulf country.

“In the wake of this agreement will come additional agreements, both with more Gulf countries and with Muslim countries in Africa,” Israel Intelligence Minister Eli Cohen told Army Radio.

Then foreign minister Israel Katz (L) and his Bahraini counterpart Khalid bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa (R) pose for a photograph at the State Department in Washington last year. (Courtesy)

“I think that Bahrain and Oman are definitely on the agenda. In addition, in my assessment, there is a chance that already in the coming year there will be a peace deal with additional countries in Africa, chief among them, Sudan,” he said.

Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said meets Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu in Muscat, Oman in 2018.

Both Bahrain and Oman praised the US-sponsored accord, but neither has commented on its own prospects for normalized relations or responded to requests for comment on the subject.

Israel’s Channel 12 reported on Saturday that Mossad chief Yossi Cohen had spoken on the phone in the past few days with Bahrain Prime Minister Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa.

The report did not give any details of the phone call, news of which was cleared for publication by Israel’s military censor.

Interestingly, government sources in Kuwait said its position towards Israel is unchanged, and it will be the last country to normalize relations, local newspaper Al-Qabas reported.

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