Israel, Bahrain to sign joint declaration in step toward full peace agreement

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Israel is set to move forward with its recently inked normalization agreements with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain this week, with a delegation from Jerusalem set to travel to Manama and a delegation from the UAE visiting the Jewish state for the first time for talks on economic cooperation.

The Israeli delegation heading to Manama on Sunday will make history by taking the first-ever commercial nonstop flight from Israel to the Gulf kingdom. Ben Gurion Airport departure listings show El Al Flight 973, the same number as Bahrain’s international telephone code, Reuters reported.

However, Manama is also slowing the pace of proceedings toward the signing of a full-fledged peace deal, the Walla news site reported Friday, with the kingdom preferring to sign “a joint communique on establishing peaceful and diplomatic relations,” stopping short of the full normalization agreement signed between Israel and the UAE.

According to the Walla report, also published on the US Axios news site, the Bahrainis want to move forward more cautiously than the UAE due to some domestic opposition to the move.

Nevertheless, the communique was still considered to be progress and expands on the initial declaration signed in Washington.

“The aim of the communique is to start implementing the declaration which was signed in Washington, put more meat into it, make it more detailed and define the principles of the relations between the countries,” an official told Walla.

Read More: Times of Israel