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December 14, 2017 11:07 am

Israeli Defense Minister Urges Cooperation With Saudis Against Iran

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Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman. Photo: Jonathan Klinger via Wikimedia Commons. – Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman has called on moderate Sunni states, especially Saudi Arabia, to bolster their security ties with Israel in an effort to fight global terrorism and counter the Iranian threat.

In an opinion piece titled “Uniting behind pragmatism in the Middle East” that was published in Defense News, one of the world’s top military magazines, Lieberman asserted that the “strategic divide in today’s Middle East between fanaticism and pragmatism outweighs the sectarian divisions of the past.”

“Sunni Arab terrorist organizations such as the Islamic State group, al-Qaida and Hamas have far more in common with the Shiite regime of Iran and its Shia Arab proxy, Hezbollah, than with the governments and societies of most Sunni Arab states,” he wrote. “While the former uphold a violent, medieval, anti-Western worldview, the latter have a pro-Western approach, prioritizing stability, economic growth and security.”

The defense minister noted that there is “much evidence of sober thinking” among the Gulf states, with Saudi Arabia representing “perhaps the clearest example” of that trend. Saudi leaders are spearheading “a bold and visionary policy that doesn’t balk from identifying Iran as the overall regional threat and is forthrightly confronting its terrorist affiliates — the Houthis, Hezbollah and Hamas,” he wrote.

Lieberman added, “The more we, the region’s pragmatic forces, combine our energies to defeat our fanatic enemies, the better able we will be to provide for the region’s security and stability and to advance our respective national interests.”

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