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Report: Saudi Arabia, Israel exchanged letters on Iran, deal of the century

March 9, 2018 at 9:44 am

Crown Prince and Defense Minister of Saudi Arabia Mohammad bin Salman al-Saud (L) is welcomed by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (R) at Cairo International Airport in Cairo, Egypt on 4 March, 2018 [Bandar Algaloud/Saudi Kingdom Council/Handout/Anadolu Agency])

Saudi Arabia and Israel have been coordinating on a range of regional issues, including Iran and the Palestinian cause, Israel Hayom newspaper revealed yesterday.

The paper quoted an unnamed Egyptian source as saying that Riyadh and Tel Aviv exchanged letters through Egypt during Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed Bin Salman’s recent visit to Cairo.

Saudi attracts US attention by singing Israel's tunes - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Saudi attracts US attention by singing Israel’s tunes – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

A high-level source in the Egyptian intelligence services passed the letters between the two sides, the newspaper was told, denying that direct meetings were held between Israeli and Saudi officials during that time.

The letters related to Iran and the regional peace plan devised by the US, in reference to the deal of the century, the source told the paper.

Saudi Arabia and Israel, the source added, share similar positions regarding fear of what they call  the “Iranian threat” in the Middle East, “which indicates the level of close coordination between Israel and Saudi Arabia and the moderate Sunni axis countries”.

Saudi Arabia and the “moderate” Arab states which include Egypt, Jordan and the UAE are interested in achieving the American plan even without the agreed prior understandings as required by the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah.

The Egyptian source said that “Israel and Jordan have strongly rejected a proposal by moderate Arab countries to exclude the status of Jerusalem from any future political move, and to give the holy places in the old town international status” which was confirmed by a Jordanian government source in an interview with the Israeli newspaper.

Read:Mohammad bin Salman to deal with the ‘deal of the century’

The deal of the century refers to the US plan to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Washington has not officially announced the final version of its plan, however Western and Arab media reports leaked some of its clauses which include recognition of Israel as a Jewish state with Jerusalem as its capital, the annexation of the major settlement blocs in the occupied West Bank to Israeli sovereignty and maintaining all Palestinian territory under Israeli security control.