Further warming between the Islamic & Jewish states was made evident from an interview retired Saudi major-general gave to Al Jazeera, where Anwar Eshki said the Kingdom will open an embassy in Israel when PM Netanyahu accepts the Arab Peace Initiative.
Saudi Arabia will open an embassy in Israel if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accepts the Arab Peace Initiative, the Jerusalem Post reports, citing an interview that retired Saudi major general gave to Al Jazeera.
Responding to the question of how long he thought it would be before a Saudi embassy would be opened in Tel Aviv, Anwar Eshki said: “You can ask Mr. Netanyahu. If he announces that he accepts the initiative and gives all rights to Palestinians, Saudi Arabia will start to make an embassy in Tel Aviv.”
Eshki also noted that the Saudis are not keen on “Israel becoming isolated in the region,” the Jerusalem Post reports.
Rebutting the Al Jazeera presenter’s charge that Saudi Arabia overlooks Palestinian suffering, Eshki said: “I told the Iranians about that: ‘you support the Palestinians by weapons, but we support them with money.
“When we support the Palestinians with money, we want them to live well, and you give them weapons to destroy themselves.”
A series of small but significant interactions — direct and indirect — has taken place between Israel and Saudi Arabia over the last six months. Two Israeli politicians not usually given to speaking to Arab media — Ministry of Foreign Affairs Director-General and Minister for Tourism Ze’ev Elkin — both gave interviews to London-based Saudi news website Elaph in recent months.
In February, while at a Munich security conference, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said that the Israelis and Gulf State representatives had been meeting “in closed rooms,” apparently to discuss regional issues including Iran’s resurgence following the nuclear deal.
And in April, Ya’alon revealed that Saudi Arabia had guaranteed Israel freedom of passage in the Straits of Tiran, after they were handed over to the Saudis by Egypt.
While Israel and Saudi Arabia have no diplomatic ties, they are seen as sharing regional security interests particularly over Iran. Israel has long viewed the Islamic Republic as one of its main threats in the region, while Sunni Saudi Arabia considers the Shi’ite nation as a contender for dominance in the Middle East.
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