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Israel to urge Biden not to let human rights jeopardise Arab alliances

US President-elect Joe Biden in Delaware, US on 19 November 2020 [JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images]
US President-elect Joe Biden in Delaware, US on 19 November 2020 [JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images]

Israel is to urge the incoming Biden administration not to exert pressure on Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE over their serious record of human rights violations as well as regional issues such as the war in Yemen, Axios has reported.

The site quoted senior Israeli security officials as saying that Israel fears that Biden will cool US relations with these countries. The occupation state regards its security and intelligence relationships with Riyadh, Cairo and Abu Dhabias "central to its strategy to counter Iran and an important pillar in regional security."

President-elect Joe Biden pledged during his election campaign to put human rights and democracy at the forefront of US foreign policy. He has also openly slammed Saudi Arabia over its war in Yemen and refused to speak to the leaders of the three countries after winning the election.

Israel intends to urge the incoming administration not to allow any new policy towards Yemen to deepen Iran's influence there or jeopardise regional cooperation on other issues. Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE, meanwhile, have welcomed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's plan to designate the Houthi movement as a "foreign terrorist group" despite international concerns about the impact that the decision will have on the humanitarian crisis in Yemen.

The same officials also said that Israel has recently encouraged Egypt and Saudi Arabia to improve their human rights record in order to improve the atmosphere for dialogue with the Biden administration. The Israelis plan to warn Biden's team that a crisis in relations with Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE could push those countries away from the US towards Russia and China.

"We were very close to losing Egypt several years ago," explained one Israeli official, "and our message to the Biden administration will be: Take it slow, dramatic changes took place, don't come with predispositions and don't harm relations with Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the UAE."

READ: This is what President Biden will not do in the Middle East

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