Conflict Trends


The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain signed bilateral normalisation agreements with Israel on the White House lawn. Small protests erupted across Bahrain in response to the announcement. Crisis Group expert Elham Fakhro says first the UAE and now Bahrain have shattered the pre-existing consensus that Israel’s formal relations with Arab states would follow a peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians, in accordance with the Arab Peace Initiative. Fuelling the UAE’s and Bahrain’s policy change toward Israel are a host of motivations, including common regional threat perceptions and the appeal of closer trade ties and access to Israeli technology. The UAE may also be able to purchase U.S. weaponry and both countries will gain credit in the U.S., certainly in the event of President Trump’s re-election, but also if former Vice President Biden makes it to the White House.

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