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UAE and Israel ‘sabotaging’ Gulf reconciliation

August 25, 2022 at 11:55 am

A view from Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE). [Emin Sansar – Anadolu Agency]

The UAE is collaborating with Israel to sabotage Gulf reconciliation efforts, disturb relations between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, and deepen the rift with Bahrain, Al-Quds Al-Arabi has reported. Citing information gleaned from leaked documents and reports, the newspaper exposed the UAE-Israel efforts being coordinated to undermine the reconciliation witnessed at the summit hosted by Saudi Arabia at Al-Ula early last year.

The Emirates Leaks website, which describes itself as a “media platform specialised in spreading the scandals of the Emirates and its crimes,” published a report on what it said was a secret joint unit established by the UAE and Israel to undermine Gulf reconciliation. The unit is also intended to provoke differences between the Gulf States as agreed by the UAE’s National Security Advisor Tahnoun Bin Zayed and senior security officials in Israel. There is, it is said, a common desire to tamper in Gulf affairs.

According to the report, the UAE and Israel believe that rapprochement between Saudi Arabia and Qatar harms their interests, and delays the pace of public normalisation with Riyadh. Hence the effort to sow the seeds of discord between Doha and Riyadh.

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The agreed plan, according to the leaks, includes media campaigns to incite public opinion against Qatar and provoke Saudi Arabia by criticising Doha’s positions. Social media is being used to serve that purpose. Recent posts on Israeli and Emirati social media accounts, for example, have included edited recordings of earlier events and statements aimed at reigniting Saudi-Qatari controversies. Such footage includes a recording published by Israeli journalist Eddie Cohen of an old clip of Prince Bandar Bin Sultan attacking Qatar and describing it as a marginal country. Emirati websites and platforms promoted this immediately.

The 41st Gulf Summit in Al-Ula last year saw the leaders and heads of delegations of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries signing a statement to turn the page on the Gulf dispute and emphasise respect for the principles of good neighbourliness.

Recently, though, the leaders of the UAE, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt and Bahrain met in the Egyptian city of El Alamein to launch an initiative that implements Abu Dhabi’s agenda for the region. According to the official statement of the group, the leaders discussed cooperation as well as regional and international issues and developments. However, the sources indicated that they intend to implement the UAE agenda, which includes serving Israeli interests.