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US: Arab states and Israel may cooperate for security reasons

There is a possibility of creating security cooperation between Israel and its Arab neighbours to face joint regional challenges, General Martin Dempsey, visiting Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of staff said.

The New York Times said the US general made the comments during a meeting with the Chief of Staff of the Israeli Army, General Benny Gantz, on Monday, during Dempsey's visit to Israel.

The newspaper also quoted Dempsey as saying: "There could be an outreach to other nations who may not have been willing to be partners in the past, with the increasing common interests in the face of threats posed by Iran's nuclear ambitions, the civil war in Syria and the chaotic instability in Egypt."

Dempsey said: "What I mean is the Gulf States in particular, who heretofore may not have been as open-minded to the potential for cooperation with Israel, in any way."

Such cooperation may include sharing intelligence and joint exercises, the New York Times said.

"The world is complicated enough without our speaking in parables to each other," Dempsey was quoted by Haaretz as saying. "This is a time for great clarity and candour and we can always count on our Israeli partners to do that."

Commenting on the relationship between the US and Israeli armies the Israeli Army Chief of Staff said: "There is no doubt that the relationship is as solid as ever."

Dempsey also met with the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last Sunday and it is reported that they discussed the US-brokered peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

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