Are Saudi-Israel Boosting Relations to Counter Iran?

Kristopher Drake
November 20, 2017

"I call on leaders in the region to follow the path of President Sadat, come to Jerusalem and open a new chapter, not just in terms of Israel's relations with the Arab world, but for the whole region", Liberman wrote.

Bahrain's foreign minister said on Sunday that Lebanon is under the "total control" of Hizballah, in a speech at an Arab League meeting called by Saudi Arabia.

In a resolution long on criticism but short on concrete steps, Arab foreign ministers who met in Cairo Sunday delivered a tirade of criticism against Iran and its Lebanese proxy Hezbollah, saying Tehran was destabilizing the region. However, much points to the consideration of "bold decisions" by Tel Aviv and Riyadh, including official visits and the establishment of diplomatic relations. We have ties, which are partially secret, with many Muslim and Arab states... Sadat was "a fearless leader who went against the stream and paved the way for other Arab leaders to recognize the importance of strategic ties with Israel", Liberman wrote.

Top US officials, including US President Donald Trump, have also blamed Iran for the Houthis' attack, with Envoy to the UN Nikky Haley calling for Tehran to be held accountable for a ballistic missile launched by Yemeni rebels targeting Saudi Arabia in July 2017, as it was allegedly an‎ Iranian Qiam.

Israel and Hezbollah fought a devastating war in 2006.

Netanyahu has expressed tentative support for parts of the initiative, but there are many caveats on the Israeli side.

While Israel and Saudi Arabia do not have diplomatic relations, they have been edging closer recently, including a visit a year ago by a retired Saudi general heading a delegation seeking to encourage better relations.

Earlier this week, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot told Saudi online newspaper Elaph that Israel was ready to share intelligence with Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia.

Ibish said that given the mutual threat perceptions shared by Israel and Gulf Arab countries, it is unlikely that covert ties aren't developing.

Riyadh accuses its foe Iran of supplying Yemen's Huthis with advanced rockets and the Iran-backed Hezbollah militia of holding Lebanon and its coalition government "hostage".

His son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner has reportedly formed a bond with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Last month, Saudi former intelligence chief Prince Turki bin Faisal shared a stage with ex-Israeli Mossad spy agency director Efraim Halevy at a debate on Iran in a NY synagogue.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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