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Bahrain's Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa. Photo: ALBERTO PIZZOLI/Getty Images

Bahrain announced Thursday that it had agreed to the United Arab Emirates' request that it allow flights between the UAE and Israel to pass through its airspace.

Why it matters: The move followed lobbying from the Trump administration, which is also in talks with the Bahrainis about possibly following the UAE into normalization with Israel.

What they're saying: Bahrain will allow flights coming to and departing from the UAE to cross its airspace, the Bahraini official news agency reported, quoting an official from the ministry of Transportation and Telecommunications.

  • Jared Kushner, U.S. envoys Avi Berkowitz and Brian Hook, and White House official Adam Boehler raised this issue earlier this week in a meeting in Manama with the King and Crown Prince of Bahrain, a source familiar with the matter said.
  • The Bahrainis made the decision after they saw that Saudi Arabia had taken the same step Wednesday.

Worth noting: An unusual transit agreement dating to the 1970s gives Bahrain control over much of Qatar's airspace. So while the agreement is partially a goodwill gesture, it could cut flight times from Israel to the UAE by around 20 minutes.

Go deeper

Dec 9, 2020 - World

Biden and Netanyahu are on a collision course over Iran

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photos: Eric Baradat (AFP), Gali Tibbon (AFP)/Getty Images

The incoming Biden administration and the Israeli government are on a collision course over the future of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

Why it matters: There is a growing gap between Biden’s stated intention to re-enter the deal and Israel’s expectations and public demands against it.

Updated 25 mins ago - World

Mexican President López Obrador tests positive for coronavirus

Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador during a press conference at National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico, on Wednesday. Photo: Ismael Rosas/Eyepix Group/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced Sunday evening that he's tested positive for COVID-19.

Driving the news: López Obrador tweeted that he has mild symptoms and is receiving medical treatment. "As always, I am optimistic," he added. "We will all move forward."

41 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Sarah Huckabee Sanders to run for governor of Arkansas

Sarah Huckabee Sanders at FOX News' studios in New York City in 2019. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will announce Monday that she's running for governor of Arkansas.

The big picture: Sanders was touted as a contender after it was announced she was leaving the Trump administration in June 2019. Then-President Trump tweeted he hoped she would run for governor, adding "she would be fantastic." Sanders is "seen as leader in the polls" in the Republican state, notes the Washington Post's Josh Dawsey, who first reported the news.

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