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September 8, 2015 12:31 pm

Report: US Officials Note ‘Close’ Friendship Between UAE and Israeli Ambassadors

avatar by Eliezer Sherman

Israeli Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer. Photo: Facebook.

Israeli Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer. Photo: Facebook.

Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer is “very close” with the United Arab Emirates envoy, Yusuf al Otaiba, and the two “agree on just about everything,” U.S. officials told Highline. 

The suggestion underlines an apparent alignment between the two countries, especially regarding the regional threats posed by Iran and its network of proxies throughout the Middle East.

A high-level Israeli official at the U.S. Embassy called the strategic alliance between the UAE and the Jewish state “the ultimate ace in the hole. When Israel and the Arab states are standing together, it’s powerful.”

But due to the sensitivity of relations between the two states, an Otaiba spokesperson predictably denied the close relationship; Israel and the UAE have never had diplomatic relations; the Gulf country doesn’t recognize Israel’s existence.

For years, however, reports have surfaced suggesting discreet ties between the two countries, especially around Israeli-developed security for the UAE’s oil fields and borders. With the July 14 agreement announced in Vienna between the U.S.-led P5+1 and Tehran over Iran’s nuclear program — as well as with President Obama’s military overtures to both Israel and Gulf states wary of Tehran’s regional post-deal ambitions — cooperation on some level appears inevitable. The UAE, meanwhile, has been more focused on the situation in Yemen, where a Saudi-led Arab force that includes the UAE has launched sustained air strikes against the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels battling forces loyal to the Gulf-backed Yemeni government under President Abd Rabbu Mansur Hadi.

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