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Secret talks between Israel, Saudi military chiefs, WSJ reveals

June 27, 2022 at 9:04 am

IDF Chief Aviv Kochavi makes a statement in Tel Aviv, Israel. [Amir Levy/Getty Images]

For the first time, an Israeli army chief held talks with his Arab counterparts, including Saudi Army Chief Fayyad Bin Hamed Al-Ruwaili, in Egypt’s resort city of Sharm El-Sheikh, the Wall Street Journal revealed yesterday.

The talks, held under the auspices of the United States in March, included discussions on how to explore coordination possibilities against Iran’s alleged nuclear missile and drone threats.

According to the WSJ, it was for the first time that such high ranking Israeli and Arab officers have met under US military auspices to discuss how to defend themselves against a common threat.

In addition to Saudi’s Al-Ruwaili and Israel’s Aviv Kochavi, top military officials from Qatar, Jordan, Egypt, the UAE and Bahrain attended the talks.

The meeting of top officials followed secret meetings of junior officials, who discussed Iran’s aerial threats against their countries and defence mechanisms against them.

According to sources close to the meeting, the participants agreed in principle on a mechanism to communicate immediate threats over phone lines and computer communications, as a precursor to government level participation.

Such cooperation between Israel, the Saudis and Qatar, the WSJ said, was unthinkable for the past decades but it became possible after the signing of the Abraham Accords – normalisation agreements between the occupation states and Arab countries – and in light of concerns over Iran’s nuclear power.

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