Israel and Saudi Arabia are holding talks to increase their military and intelligence cooperation over concerns about Iranian aggression in the region, according to a Bloomberg report, which notes that the United States is backing the efforts.
The first few meetings between the two nations reportedly were held before the U.S.-Gulf Cooperation Council Counterterrorism Working Group convened in Riyadh on Feb. 16. More meetings between them are expected to take place in Prague after the Munich Security Conference, which ends this Sunday.
The Bloomberg report did not provide details about increased overtures by the Israeli government, but it did claim that Riyadh is not yet ready to normalize relations with Israel.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has sought to use the Iranian threat as a tool to unite Israeli, U.S. and Saudi interests. He also stated that normalizing relations with Saudi Arabia is a goal for his administration. Nevertheless, the Saudi government regularly claims that such a move is dependent upon peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
“We have said consistently that we believe normalization with Israel is something that is very much in the interest of the region,” said Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud in an interview with Bloomberg TV in Davos, Switzerland.
According to this view, normalization requires a Palestinian state to be established, which is often positioned in international discussions within the region of Israel’s biblical heartland.
“True normalization and true stability will only come through giving the Palestinians hope, through giving the Palestinians dignity,” bin Farhan Al-Saud told Bloomberg.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.