JERUSALEM — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Bahrain Foreign Minister Abdullatif bin Rashid Al-Zayani to Jerusalem on Wednesday for a trilateral summit to advance the historic Abraham Accords.
"Three peace agreements in six weeks; I don't think it gets much better than that," Netanyahu said. "Today, we are making history again. This is the first-ever official ministerial visit from the Kingdom of Bahrain to the State of Israel. It marks another important milestone on the road to peace between our two countries and peace in the region."
"Today what we're doing at this visit is expanding much more. Because what we're doing is to enable the free flow of ideas, innovators, entrepreneurs between Israel and Bahrain, both directions," Netanyahu continued. "We are unleashing a tremendously potent economic force and a force for peace for the benefit of both our peoples."
Netanyahu also addressed Pompeo and acknowledged the American effort to make these deals happen.
"Israel and Bahrain have had many contacts over the years but very frankly, this day would not have happened, these Abraham Accords would not have been signed, without President (Donald) Trump’s crucial support and leadership."
Pompeo, in his remarks, said another impact of these agreements is that the Iranian influence in the region is waning.
“They also advance religious freedom. Muslims will be able to more easily pray at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, thanks to the new flights through Abu Dhabi and Manama.”
Earlier in the day, Pompeo released a statement saying that America will "will impose new sanctions on Iran," in the coming weeks.
"The Maximum Pressure campaign is working, sanctions will continue, and the United States will not hesitate to impose painful consequences on those who engage in sanctionable activity," Pompeo said. "These sanctions are a critical tool of national security to preserve the safety of the region and to protect American lives."
Al Zayani told Israel's Walla News that the Biden administration should consult with Gulf states before reentering the Iran nuclear deal.
“The situation in the Middle East has changed in the past four years,” Al Zayani said during a visit to Israel. “The dynamic has changed. We are certain that a safe and stable region is in the American interest.”
During his remarks before the trilateral summit, Al Zayani said he hoped his citizens would be able to receive e-visas to travel freely between the Israel and Bahrain including 14 weekly flights from Manama to Tel Aviv and even flights to Eilat and Haifa.
“The peace we are pursuing will be a warm peace that will deliver clear benefits to our peoples,” said Al Zayani.
Pompeo's stop in Israel is part of a tour of several countries, including France, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Georgia and Saudi Arabia. He is expected to visit the settlement of Psagot and its winery, which is located north of Jerusalem. His visit would mark the first time a secretary of state visits an Israeli settlement.
Nicole Jansezian is the news editor for both ALL ISRAEL NEWS and ALL ARAB NEWS and senior correspondent for ALL ISRAEL NEWS