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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.

Go deeper

Jan 27, 2021 - World

Netanyahu doesn't want a fight with Biden over Iran — yet

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

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, hoping to avoid an immediate clash with President Biden over Iran, will give dialogue a chance, Israeli officials say.

Why it matters: Biden intends to try to resume the 2015 nuclear deal, which Netanyahu vehemently opposes. The two are on a collision course, and memories are fresh of the crisis in U.S.-Israel relations when Netanyahu was publicly campaigning against Barack Obama's attempts to reach a deal — including in a speech to Congress.

Jan 27, 2021 - World

Israel's COVID crisis deepens even as the vaccination rate climbs

Ultra-Orthodox Jewish protesters clash with security forces over lockdown enforcement Photo: Ahmad Gharabli/AFP via Getty

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had hoped to declare victory over the pandemic before the elections on March 23, but new fast-spreading variants of COVID-19 have dashed those hopes.

Why it matters: Netanyahu's main political vulnerability is his handling of the pandemic. He has acknowledged that his poll numbers will be directly connected to the rates of vaccinations, new infections and deaths, as well as his ability to reopen the economy.

Jan 26, 2021 - World

Biden administration lays out its policies on Israel-Palestine at the UN

Biden with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in 2010. Photo: Uriel Sinai/Getty Images

The Biden administration today laid out its policies on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and stressed its intention to renew ties with the Palestinian Authority.

Why it matters: The Trump administration dramatically changed U.S. policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. President Biden's policies, laid out for the first time today, will shift the U.S. back to the more traditional positions held by previous Democratic and Republican administrations.