File phorto: Egypt's president Abdel Fattah El-Sisi
Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El Sisi on Friday welcomed an agreement by Bahrain and Israel to normalise relations and establish diplomatic ties, calling it a “historic step” toward regional stability and peace.
The White House issued a joint statement by the US, Israel and Bahrain earlier on Friday announcing that Israel and Bahrain had agreed to open direct dialogue and ties between the latter two countries, following a similar step taken by the United Arab Emirates and Israel last month.
“I followed with great interest the tripartite statement issued by the USA, Bahrain and Israel agreeing to establish diplomatic relations between the Kingdom of Bahrain and Israel,” El-Sisi wrote on Twitter.
“I value this important step towards establishing stability and peace in the Middle East region, [in a way] that achieves a just and permanent settlement of the Palestinian issue,” El-Sisi said, thanking all parties involved in the move.
US President Donald Trump also hailed the step, calling it “another historic breakthrough.”
“Our two GREAT friends Israel and the Kingdom of Bahrain agree to a Peace Deal – the second Arab country to make peace with Israel in 30 days!” Trump wrote on Twitter.
According to the White House statement, Bahrain also accepted Trump’s invitation to joint the UAE and Israel during a signing ceremony set to be held in the White House on September 15.
Under the UAE-Israel accord, Israel agreed to suspend the planned annexation of areas of the occupied West Bank.
El-Sisi had welcomed the Emirati deal, saying at the time that such steps “would bring peace to the Middle East.”
Egypt supports a two-state solution, with a Palestinian state whose capital is East Jerusalem and which is based on the 1967 borders, according to UN Security Council resolutions.
Cairo has repeatedly expressed its rejection of Israel’s plan to annex the West Bank and called for the revival of the peace process.
The UAE is the first Gulf state and the third Arab country, after Egypt and Jordan, to officially normalise relations with Israel.