Arab, Israeli diplomats said to hold secret powwow in Jordan

Sunni Arab envoys express desire for increased security cooperation with Jerusalem amid waning US hegemony in the region, according to Israel Radio report

The flags of Israel and Jordan (photo credit: courtesy/Assaf David)
The flags of Israel and Jordan (photo credit: courtesy/Assaf David)

Israeli diplomats and representatives of several Arab states that don’t have formal relations with Israel met in Jordan for clandestine talks, Israel Radio reported Tuesday.

Envoys from the European Union and the United States also attended the meeting, which focused among other things on regional security cooperation should American influence in the Middle East diminish.

Some of the Sunni Arab diplomats expressed a desire to strengthen security ties between their governments and Israel, but said such cooperation would be contingent on advances in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the report said.

The countries in attendance were not named in the report.

A slew of recent reports indicate that covert ties exist between Israel and Gulf states because of their shared concern over Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

Those ties are expected to grow stronger amid a pending deal between Tehran and the world powers over Iran’s nuclear program — a deal that would see a lifting of economic sanctions in return for downsizing the program.

An outline of the framework accord decided upon in Lausanne, Switzerland, in early April was met with criticism both in Jerusalem and in predominantly Sunni Gulf states.

A February report hinted that Saudi Arabia may be willing to permit Israeli jets to use its airspace in the event of an attack on Iranian nuclear facilities.

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