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Photo: Jack Guez/AFP via Getty Images

A senior Israeli delegation traveled Wednesday to Bahrain for talks on the drafting of the U.S.-brokered peace treaty between the countries, Israeli officials told me.

The state of play: Both countries need to draft a detailed and comprehensive peace treaty that will have a firm legal status and include side agreements on several fields of bilateral cooperation, according to the officials.

  • During the talks in Manama, Israeli and Bahraini officials will map the different fields for cooperation to be included in the treaty. Israeli officials tell me they want to use the peace treaty with the UAE as a template for the document with Bahrain.

The big picture: At a ceremony in Washington last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani signed a "declaration of peace" — a symbolic document that spoke in general terms about the establishment of diplomatic relations and cooperation between the countries.

The visit of the Israeli delegation was agreed upon during a phone call on Tuesday between between Netanyahu and Bahraini Crown Prince Salman Bin Hamad bin Issa Al-Khalifa.

  • The Israeli delegation is headed by the acting director-general of Netanyahu's office Ronen Peretz and the director-general of the foreign ministry Alon Ushpiz. The delegation also includes officials from the national security council and other government ministries.
  • The Israeli delegation will hold talks with senior Bahraini officials, possibly with the crown prince and foreign minister.

Worth noting: The Israeli delegation travelled on an Israir plane — the first Israeli commercial airliner to land in Bahrain, flying over Saudi airspace.

Go deeper

Nov 18, 2020 - World

Israel's plan to influence Biden on Iran

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Israel is drafting a strategy for engaging with the incoming Biden administration on Iran, two Israeli officials tell me.

What they're saying: “We don’t want to be left out again," Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi told the Knesset foreign relations committee in a classified hearing last week. He said Israel had to avoid the mistakes that left it isolated as the Obama administration negotiated the 2015 Iran deal.

Aug 13, 2020 - World

Behind the scenes: How the Israel-UAE deal came together

Trump, Kushner and Netanyahu (L-R). Photo: Kobi Gideon/GPO via Getty

The breakthrough in talks between the U.S., Israel and UAE on a normalization deal came two months ago, White House officials tell me.

Behind the scenes: Talks had been ongoing for more than a year, but they gained new urgency ahead of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's July 1 deadline to move ahead on West Bank annexations.

Jun 30, 2020 - World

Why Israel’s annexation plans matter for the region

Map: Andrew Witherspoon and Danielle Alberti/Axios

The world is awaiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's decision on whether to annex up to 30% of the West Bank as soon as July 1 — likely further eroding relations with Arab governments and sparking a new wave of protests in the territory.

Why it matters: If Israel moves forward with annexation, decades of tensions could explode across the region, and progress toward a peace agreement — tw0-state or otherwise — could be stalled indefinitely.