The next Gulf countries to join the United Arab Emirates in formalizing relations with Israel may be Bahrain and Oman, Israeli intelligence minister said Sunday.
On Thursday, Israel and the UAE declared that they would normalize diplomatic relations, reshaping Middle East politics from the Palestinian issue to countering Iran.
“New negotiations will follow in the aftermath of this deal, both with more countries in the Gulf and with Muslim countries in Africa,” Minister of Intelligence Eli Cohen told Army Radio.
“I hope Bahrain and Oman are on the radar, certainly. Furthermore, in my opinion there is a possibility that there will be a peace settlement in Africa with additional countries already in the coming year, foremost among them, Sudan, “he said.
Bahrain and Oman are next
Both Bahrain and Oman welcomed the agreement backed by the United States, but neither commented on their own expectations for improved ties or replied to requests for comments on the issue.
In the past two years, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has met with Omani and Sudanese leaders during a visit to Oman in October 2018.
“I hope to see more countries meeting us in the peace circle”. Netanyahu said Sunday to cabinet ministers, according to a statement from his office.
“It is a historic step. That will promote relations with the Arab world. And eventually bring about a genuine, sober and stable settlement with the Palestinians”. He said.
The UAE-Israel pact unleashes opposition to Iran ‘s global strength. The Palestinians have condemned the deal as a betrayal.
UAE and Israeli foreign ministers arranged their first officially confirmed call on Sunday. Since telephone lines were opened for Israel by the Gulf state.
In 1979, Israel signed peace agreements with Egypt. And in 1994, with Jordan. But the UAE has had no official diplomatic or economic relations with it as with most other Arab nations.
Oman has diplomatic relations with both the US and Iran, and has historically been a go-between for all feuding nations.
A close ally of Saudi Arabia – not yet commenting on the UAE-Israel agreement . Bahrain hosted a senior Israeli official at a 2019 security conference. And a US-led conference on boosting the Palestinian economy as part of the U.S. Middle East peace effort headed by President Donald Trump.