The Abraham Accords send a message to Iran to change its policies, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said at the opening of a trilateral meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdulatif bin Rashid Al Zayani in Jerusalem on Wednesday.
The agreements “tell malign actors like the Islamic Republic of Iran that… they are ever-more isolated and shall forever be until they change their direction,” Pompeo warned.
“These agreements are… important to the whole world,” the secretary of state said. “Countries you wouldn’t expect are grateful for the work Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates and Israel will do together.”
Pompeo commended Israel and Bahrain for turning the agreements into “real action, bold action.”
The secretary of state said peace between the countries will advance religious freedom, allowing more Muslims easier access to pray at the Temple Mount.
Netanyahu expressed enthusiasm for “three peace agreements in six weeks,” saying: “I don’t think it gets any better than that!”
The prime minister compared Bahrain to Israel, saying it “respects the past and looks forward to the future,” and has a “robust and modern economy.”
“What we are doing with this agreement is… unleashing an economic force, a force for peace and the benefit of both our peoples,” he said. “King Hamad [bin Isa Al Khalifa] and I are building a bridge of peace many others will cross in the future.”
Netanyahu referred to the 2019 conference in Manama, Bahrain’s capital, which was meant to find economic solutions for the Palestinians that would encourage peace. He said that though the “meeting was pooh-poohed, it was a harbinger of great things to come.”
Al Zayani said he was “greatly encouraged” by his meetings in Jerusalem, which he said were productive.
“We definitely have something to work with, and I am optimistic for the future,” he said. “It has been obvious the intention and the keenness that the peace we are pursuing will be a warm peace that will benefit both peoples.”
The Bahraini foreign minister said that direct flights between Israel and Bahrain will begin in early 2021, with passenger flights to Tel Aviv at first, and later to Eilat and Haifa, as well as cargo flights.
In addition, an “e-visa” service will come into place on December 1 for Israelis wishing to visit Bahrain and vice-versa.
Al Zayani also tied the peace between his country and Israel to a hope that Israel and the Palestinians will make peace.
“This is the dawn of peace for the entire Middle East, and to this end I continue to emphasize in all my meetings that, in order to achieve such a peace, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict needs to be resolved,” he said. “Therefore, I call for both parties to get around the negotiating table to achieve a viable two-state solution as is also sought by the international community.”
Pompeo will be in Israel until Friday. He is expected to make a personal visit to Qasr el-Yahud, the site of Jesus’ baptism and where the Jewish people crossed the Jordan River into the land of Israel 40 years after the Exodus from Egypt. He is also expected to visit the Psagot Winery in the West Bank, as well as the Golan Heights.