Nov 15, 2020 - World

Scoop: Pompeo, Netanyahu to attend normalization talks with Bahrain

Mike Pompeo and Benjamin Netanyahu standing next to one another.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Photo: Patricia De Melo Moreira/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will attend a trilateral summit with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdullatif al-Zayani in Jerusalem Wednesday, Israeli officials told me.

Why it matters: The summit is a follow-up to the agreement establishing peaceful and diplomatic relations between Israel and Bahrain, signed in Manama last month with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin in attendance. It represents another step in normalizing relations between the two nations.

  • The nations are expected to sign a civil aviation agreement that will allow flight between Tel Aviv in Israel and Manama in Bahrain.
  • The officials will discuss a plan for opening embassies and exchanging ambassadors, Israeli officials told me.

Worth noting: Zayani's trip to the summit will mark the first official and public visit to Israel by a Bahraini minister. The Israeli government ratified the agreement with Bahrain on Sunday, after it cleared the legislature with a significant majority.

  • Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi — one of Netanyahu’s main political opponents — will also attend the summit. Bahraini Minister of Industry, Commerce and Tourism Zayed Bin Rashid Al Zayani will also attend.
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