Army chief says Israel prepared to share intel with Saudi Arabia

20 November, 2017, 00:35 | Author: Brenda Erickson
  • U.S. Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis with Saudi Arabia's leader Mohammad bin Salman in March 2017

Gadi Eisenkot stated in an interview with Saudi's Elaph newspaper.

"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.

While Liberman did not mention any country by name, the post seems to be in sync with recent reports regarding warming ties between Israel and Saudi Arabia.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has boasted about growing cooperation between Israel and Arab nations it does not have diplomatic relations with, especially regarding Iran. "There are many mutual interests between them [Saudi Arabia] and us".

Asked whether Israel has shared "information" with the Saudis recently, Eisenkot responded, "We are prepared to share information if it is necessary". 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.

Both Saudi Arabia and Israel view Iran as a main threat to the Middle East. 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.

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

It marked the first time that any senior Israel Defense Forces officer, let alone the chief of staff, has been interviewed by a media organization in Saudi Arabia, according to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz's website.

His comments were the latest sign that behind-the-scenes links between Israel and some Persian Gulf Arab countries are being forged due to Iran, their shared foe, even though they do not have formal diplomatic ties.

The IDF chief of staff said that US President Donald Trump's harsh stance on Iran allowed for a new chance to build a regional alliance of Arab states and to develop a strategy to stop Iran's expansion.

"In this matter there is complete agreement between us and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which has never been our enemy".

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