Saudi Arabia Presses UAE to Cancel Jordan-Israel Deal
by i24 News
i24 News – The Saudi Arabian government is putting heavy pressure on the United Arab Emirates to cancel the solar power for water deal signed by Israel and Jordan in Dubai, Israeli media reported Wednesday.
The initiative will see a solar plant constructed in Jordan, with assistance from the UAE, as well as a desalination plant in Israel.
Israeli officials stated that when Saudis saw the publication, they were surprised as the UAE and Jordan did not update them in advance on the matter, according to Israel’s Walla news.
Last weekend, senior Saudi government officials reportedly called their counterparts in Abu Dhabi and demanded clarification, also urging the Emirates to withdraw from the agreement. They offered an alternative deal in which Saudi Arabia will replace Israel in the project, Walla reported.
The officials stated the UAE did not like the pressure, updating those involved in the deal on what happened.
The Emirates did not want to cancel the agreement, but sought to soften the wording to appear less binding. Israeli officials told Walla Israel did not object because the changes did not change the agreement.
Israel’s Energy Minister Karin Elharrar declined to comment when asked by Walla, but did not deny it. UAE officials also declined to comment.