Friday, 15 December, 2017

Israeli minister reveals contacts with Saudi Arabia 'to curb Iran'

GettyImages-875196992 Israel Ready to Work With Saudis Against Iran
Howard Terry | 20 November, 2017, 00:32

Last week, Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah accused Saudi Arabia of having appealed to Israel to launch an attack against the group in Lebanon, offering the Jewish state "billions of dollars" to do so.

"We are ready to exchange experiences with moderate Arab countries and exchange intelligence to confront Iran".

Eisenkot urged boosting of Saudi-Israel relations and invited other interested parties, to jointly curb the spread of "aggressive Iranian influence" in the Middle East.

While Israel and Saudi Arabia do not have diplomatic relations, they have been edging closer recently, including a visit previous year by a retired Saudi general heading a delegation seeking to encourage better relations. With us, usually, there is no problem, but we respect the other side's wish, when ties are developing, whether it's with Saudi Arabia or with other Arab countries or other Muslim countries, and there is much more.

According to Israel's Army, it was the first interview of its kind since 2005.

Saudi Arabia maintains that any relations with Israel hinge on Israeli withdrawal from Arab lands occupied in the 1967 Middle East war.

Eisenkot added that "Under U.S. President Donald Trump there is an opportunity to form a new worldwide alliance in the region".

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

IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot seen at a ceremony for the incoming new IDF Technology and Logistics Directorate head Brigadier General Aharon haLiva, who replaced Brigadier General Kobi Barak.

"There is an opportunity for a new global alliance in the region", the chief of staff of the Israeli military, Gadi Eisenkot, told the paper.

The Arab ministers called on Arab countries in the United Nations to make the necessary contacts to arrange an emergency session of the U.N. Security Council in order to discuss Iranian threats to the region.

Last week Saudi Arabia ordered its citizens to leave Lebanon immediately, escalating a regional standoff with Iran centred on the fragile state, which it claims is being run by Tehran's proxy, Hezbollah.

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