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August 8, 2016 2:29 pm

Top Israeli Diplomat Says Jewish, Sunni Arab States Coming to View Mideast Through Same Prism

avatar by Lea Speyer

Israeli Foreign Ministry Director General Dore Gold. Photo: Wiki Commons.

Israeli Foreign Ministry Director General Dore Gold. Photo: Wiki Commons.

The director general of Israel’s ministry of foreign affairs said on Monday that Jerusalem has been cooperating with regional powers to confront common security threats.

In comments to the Financial Times, Dore Gold claimed, “The Sunni Arab states increasingly see the Middle East through the same prism as Israel” — faced with the increasing danger posed by Iran and radical Shiite terrorist groups.  

Both Sunni Muslim countries and Israel have been openly concerned about Tehran’s growing influence in the Middle East and what they believe are Iran’s nuclear weapons ambitions, according to the Financial Times, which explained that the conflicts in Iraq, Yemen and Syria highlight the Iranian regime’s power in an increasingly unstable region.

As a result, it said, Arab countries traditionally hostile to Israel — including those with no diplomatic relations with the Jewish state — “have been discreetly developing Israeli contacts, but are at pains to keep them hidden for fear of triggering a popular backlash.”

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Where Egypt is concerned, Gold said, Israel has been “very permissive” about allowing Cairo to deploy greater numbers of military personnel in the Sinai to combat jihadists, despite agreements limiting its troop levels in the area.

Gold — who, together with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has also been forging and cultivating relations with African nations — said that if Israel did not cooperate with Arab countries in matters of security and defense, terrorist groups would have an easier time of wreaking havoc across the region.

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