Israeli Energy Minister Reveals Jewish State’s Covert Ties With Saudi Arabia
JNS.org – Israel has maintained covert contact with Saudi Arabia regarding Iran and other areas of common interest, Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz revealed on Sunday.
Although high-ranking Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, have often spoken in general terms regarding the budding backdoor diplomatic relations between Israel and Arab states, Steinitz’s comments mark the first official disclosure of the Jewish state’s developing ties with Riyadh.
In an interview Sunday with Army Radio, Steinitz, a member of the Israeli security cabinet, was asked why Israel has kept its ties with Saudi Arabia secret.
“We have ties that are indeed partly covert with many Muslim and Arab countries, and usually [we are] the party that is not ashamed,” said Steinitz.
“It’s the other side that is interested in keeping the ties quiet. 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…[but] we keep it secret,” he said.
In an unprecedented move last week, Israel co-sponsored a draft resolution against Syria that was submitted by Saudi Arabia at the United Nations Human Rights Council.
Israel’s co-sponsoring of the Saudi resolution came a week after the Israeli Foreign Ministry reportedly instructed its envoys to launch a global diplomatic campaign against Iran and the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah, and in support of Saudi Arabia and its allies.