The Israeli defense minister recently headed a delegation to Saudi Arabia amid the growing Iranian threat to the region, reports indicate.
An Israeli delegation, headed by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, reportedly visited Saudi Arabia recently to meet with officials in Riyadh, including King Salman Bin Abdulaziz, pro-Israel blogger Elder of Ziyon reported this week, after noting that the Western media did not pick up on the story, released by Israel’s Channel 10 and quoted in Hezbollah’s Lebanon-based Al Manar TV.
Though, according to the report, this was not the first such visit by prominent Israelis, the IDF Censor prohibits discussion of them for security reasons. The Saudi royal family, too, according to Al Manar, has preferred to keep such talks confidential, though it is no secret that both Israel and Saudi Arabia are concerned about growing Iranian influence in the region, and both opposed the nuclear deal between the Islamic Republic and world powers.
According to the report, which Elder of Ziyon also found on the Middle Eastern AhlulBayt News Agency site, Saudi officials said they are not interested in solving the Palestinian issue, yet want Israeli support against Iran.
In fact, reports point to the beginning of cooperation in 2014. Israel and Saudi Arabia publicly admitted to clandestine diplomatic ties several months ago; the announcement, which was delivered at a conference of the Council on Foreign Relations, was made in the context of the increasing fear of both countries that the Iranian nuclear agreement will only strengthen Iran’s dangerous position in the Middle East.
In December, Israeli Foreign Ministry Director-General Dore Gold, in an interview with Saudi news outlet Elaph, stressed the two countries’ common interests, among them standing up to Iran and the “joint threat of ISIS.”
Saudi Prince al-Waleed bin Talal has stated that in the event of another Palestinian Intifada against Israel, he would side with the Jewish State, saying that “Saudi Arabia has reached a political maturity to constitute a durable alliance with the Jewish nation.”
“I will side with the Jewish nation and its democratic aspirations in case of outbreak of a Palestinian Intifada and I shall exert all my influence to break any ominous Arab initiatives set to condemn Tel Aviv, because I deem the Arab-Israeli entente and future friendship necessary to impede the Iranian dangerous encroachment,” Al Qabas quoted the Saudi media tycoon as saying.
By: The Algemeiner and United with Israel Staff