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Bahrain conference showcases Israeli ties with Gulf states

A significant cornerstone on the way to overt normalization between Israel and the pragmatic Sunni states was laid this week in Bahrain at the US-led economic workshop.
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Egyptian President Anwar Sadat landed at Ben Gurion Airport in 1977, becoming the first Arab leader — and a bitter enemy at that, who started a bloody war in 1973 — to visit Israel. Sadat then signed a peace agreement with Israel in 1979, though the Palestinian issue remained outside the agreement, aside from the suggestion of autonomy.

The economic workshop in Bahrain June 25 is a message to the Palestinians that the Sunni Gulf states, too, could reach some kind of peace agreement with Israel, even before the Israeli-Palestinian conflict ends. It’s no secret that these states' relationship with Israel has grown closer in recent years in the context of the joint fight against their common Iranian enemy and the terrorism it promotes. Actually, this week in Bahrain, one of the open secrets in the Middle East came to light: the relationship between the state of Israel and some of the Gulf states, including Saudi Arabia, Oman and Bahrain. The Palestinians are again out of the picture and this is even more evident because of their boycott of the summit.

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