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Will Bahrain, Israel establish formal relations in 2018?

Bahrain could become the first Gulf Cooperation Council member to establish official diplomatic and trade relations with Israel, though this may largely depend on the GCC states' response to the Jerusalem crisis.
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Bahrain and Israel’s shared threat perception of Iran’s growing regional influence has driven Manama’s quiet outreach to the Jewish state over the past year. However, the rage from populations across the greater Arab and Muslim world due to US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital has hindered the prospects of formalized Bahraini-Israeli diplomatic relations.

Like the other five Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members, Bahrain, whose leadership frequently invokes the Palestinian cause, has never held formal diplomatic relations with Israel. While Bahrain, unlike Qatar and Oman, has never permitted Israel to open a trade office in their country, Manama’s unofficial contacts with the Jewish state date back to the mid-1990s.

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