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Bahrain Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani (R) at the White House ceremony. Photo: The White House/Shealah Craighead via Getty Images

Israel and Bahrain will sign on Sunday a “joint communique on establishing peaceful and diplomatic relations” during a visit by a joint Israeli-U.S. delegation to Manama, Israeli and U.S. officials tell me.

Why it matters: The document that will be signed on Sunday is a significant step forward from the general “peace declaration” which was signed at the White House on September 15th, but still not of a full treaty like the one between Israel and the United Arab Emirates.

Behind the scenes: Sources briefed on the talks between the parties say the Bahrainis asked to sign a joint communique for now, rather than a full treaty. The Bahrainis want to move forward more gradually than the UAE due to domestic criticism in Bahrain against the normalization move.

The state of play: The “joint communique” will be signed by senior Israeli and Bahraini officials, with Secretary of Treasury Steve Mnuchin and White House envoy Avi Berkowitz also present at the signing ceremony in Manama on Sunday.

Sources briefed on the 'joint communique” told me it will include those principles:

  • Israel and Bahrain will establish full diplomatic relations, open embassies and exchange ambassadors.
  • Both countries will not engage in any hostile actions against one another and will act to prevent those actions on their territories by third parties.
  • Both countries will commit to co-existence and to educating for peace.
  • Israel and Bahrain will sign agreements on: finance and investments, civil aviation, tourism, trade, science and technology, telecommunication, health care, agriculture, water, energy and legal cooperation.

What they're saying: "The aim of the communique is to start implementing the declaration which was signed in Washington, put more meat into it, make it more detailed and define the principles of the relations between the countries. It will be the umbrella for all bilateral agreements to be signed in the next several months," a source briefed on the plans said.

What’s next: Israeli officials say the “joint communique” is expected to be approved by the cabinet and possibly also by the Knesset, as the UAE treaty was on Thursday.

Go deeper

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
Jan 23, 2021 - World

International nuclear weapons ban goes into force

Protesters celebrate the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in New York on Jan. 22. Photo: Erik McGregor/LightRocket via Getty Images

A UN treaty outlawing the existence of nuclear weapons went into effect on Friday.

Why it matters: The ban is chiefly symbolic, as neither the U.S. nor any other nuclear powers supported it. But moral statements should have meaning for weapons that, by their sheer indiscriminate power, are arguably immoral.

EA Sports is in expansion mode

EA Sports general manager Daryl Holt (left). Photo illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios. Photos: EA Sports

The biggest player in sports video games has plans to get even bigger — on mobile, in football, maybe even with basketball again — EA Sports general manager Daryl Holt said in an exclusive interview with Axios.

Why it matters: Sports gaming doesn’t get much press, but it’s a surging market with increased competition and lots of players up for grabs.

Heat wave grips U.S. this week from coast to coast

Computer model projection from the GFS model showing an unusually hot airmass across the western and Central U.S. on Thursday, June 29, 2021. (Weatherbell.com)

A widespread heat wave has begun across the contiguous U.S., with at least 30 million people likely to see temperatures reach or exceed 100°F by the end of the week.

Why it matters: The hot weather, which comes courtesy of another heat dome building across the Southwest, Rockies and then sliding into the western Plains, will only aggravate drought conditions and worsen many of the western wildfires.

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