Middle East peace is Trump’s legacy. While the Democrats support the warmongers. Horrifying. It is as if FDR had joined the axis powers.
Israel in talks with Saudi, UAE, Bahrain for defense alliance against Iran
Following op-ed by Ronald Lauder in Saudi paper, PMO says its ‘not confirming report, but we are always interested in upgrading ties with our Middle East partners.’
By Lahav Harov, J Post, March 1, 2021:
Israel, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain have discussed expanding cooperation in facing common enemies, an Israeli official familiar with the matter said Monday.
The matter is being “informally discussed,” the source said, adding that the countries are US allies. All four believe a nuclear Iran would be a major threat and have been eyeing the Biden administration’s plan to rejoin the 2015 nuclear deal with concern.“There is much to be gained by expanding cooperation,” the source said.
The remarks came following an article by World Jewish Congress president Ron Lauder in Arab News calling for a “NATO of the Middle East.”
Saudi Arabia does not have a free press, and Arab News, an English-language daily newspaper published in Saudi Arabia, is owned by Prince Turki bin Salman Al Saud, a son of King Salman and brother of Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, and is seen as reflecting the Saudi government’s official views.Lauder said his contacts in Arab states viewed Israel as the only reliable ally against Iran, and vice versa. They are “contemplating, aghast, the West’s inability to halt these belligerent, dangerous developments” of Iran resuming uranium enrichment and limiting International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors’ access to nuclear sites, he said.
“Facing the accelerating threat of a malevolent Iran and the weakness of a coronavirus-hit world, the path toward self-reliance seems also to be the only path forward,” Lauder wrote. “Israelis and Arabs should seize the opportunity to work together to save the Middle East from the looming catastrophe of extremism and nuclearization.”
Israel is in talks with the three Gulf states about a defense alliance, i24 News reported last week.
The Prime Minister’s Office said it was “not confirming the report, but we are always interested in upgrading ties with our Middle East partners.”
One early indicator of a possible defense alliance is that Israel did not object to the US selling F-35 fighter jets to the UAE, after the countries normalized ties as part of the Abraham Accords last year.
Under US law, Washington must make sure its weapons sales in the Middle East do not threaten Israel’s qualitative military edge in the region. Following meetings between Defense Minister Benny Gantz and his US counterpart at the time, Jerusalem gave the green light to sell the planes to Abu Dhabi.
Israel still does not have official ties with Saudi Arabia. But it grew closer with the three Gulf states with which it is discussing further security cooperation in the aftermath of the 2015 deal between world powers and Iran, which they felt does not prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon once the agreement expires.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and MBS, as the Saudi crown prince is known, secretly met in Neom, a planned futuristic-Saudi city on the Red Sea, last November.
Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi spoke with Omani Foreign Minister Badr Albusaidi on Monday.
“Views were exchanged on a number of issues of common interest, as well as the importance of supporting all efforts aimed at achieving peace and stability in the region,” Ashkenazi said. “We agreed to maintain our direct channel of communication and to further enhance cooperation.”
Israel does not have official diplomatic relations with Oman, but Netanyahu led a delegation to the country in 2018.
Albusaidi also spoke with Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riad Malki, an Omani Foreign Ministry readout said.
Albusaidi confirmed “the Omani position in support of achieving a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East through direct negotiations and a two-state solution with the establishment of an independent Palestinian state,” the statement said.
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