Oman and Egypt welcome the Israel and Emirates agreement, Turkey and Iran are angry

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, meanwhile, thanks Oman, but also Egypt and the Gulf state of Bahrain for support of the agreement. Egypt is not surprising, that country has had normal relations with Israel for decades. Bahrain is different: the small state is very dependent on its large neighbor Saudi Arabia, which has not yet responded. The Israeli media speculate that Sudan would now also welcome the accord. This increases the likelihood that Oman, Bahrain, Sudan and possibly other Arab states will soon establish relations with Israel.

This is a bit more complex for Saudi Arabia. The country, like the UAE, has long maintained close relations with Israel, but doing so openly involves risks. Saudi King Salman and his predecessors derive much of their authority from their role as “protectors of the holy places (Mecca and Medina)”. Openly fall into Israel’s arms with no settlement with the Palestinians on the status of that third major shrine for Muslims – the Haram al-Sharif (Temple Mount for the Jews) with the Dome of the Rock Mosque and the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem – could undermine that prestige of the Saudis.

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