European nations welcome Bahrain peace deal with Israel

The European Council said the accord made a 'positive contribution to peace and stability in the Middle East'

President Donald Trump speaks in the Oval Office of the White House on Friday, Sept. 11, 2020, in Washington. Bahrain has become the latest Arab nation to agree to normalize ties with Israel as part of a broader diplomatic push by Trump and his administration to fully integrate the Jewish state into the Middle East. From left, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Vice President Mike Pence, Trump, Jared Kushner and U.S. special envoy for Iran Brian Hook. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

European nations have welcomed a peace accord agreed between Israel and Bahrain.

The praise comes just weeks after the UAE and Israel agreed to a similar deal.

The European Council said the bloc “believes that these developments represent a positive contribution to peace and stability in the Middle East”.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas lauded the normalisation agreement, calling it “another important step toward peace in the region”.

On Saturday, Bahrain's Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al Zayani and his Israeli counterpart Gabi Ashkenazi held a phone call, the Bahrain foreign ministry said.

The ministers stressed the need to move relations forward to promote peace and stability in the region, it said.

Calling it a "truly historic day," Mr Trump said on Friday that Israel and Bahrain were establishing full diplomatic and commercial relations.

"They will exchange embassies and ambassadors, begin direct flights between their countries and launch co-operation initiatives across a broad range of sectors, including health, business, technology, education, security and agriculture," he said.

Bahrain said in a joint statement it had agreed to formalise the deal with Israel at a ceremony on Tuesday in the White House, where the UAE will also sign off on its own accord with Israel announced in mid-August.

Iran, Turkey, the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, the rulers of Gaza, all opposed the deal.

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