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Saudi Delegation Visits Israel in Latest Sign of Growing Ties

September 21, 2016
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Photo: Escla/ wikipedia.org

A retired Saudi general visited Israel in May for a series of meetings, in what is the latest sign of increasing dialogue, public appearances and quiet cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Israel.

Anwar Eshki, who previously served in senior positions in the Saudi military and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, led a delegation of Saudi academics and businessmen to Israel. They met with Israeli Foreign Ministry Director-General Dore Gold; IDF Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, the coordinator of government activities in the territories; and opposition Knesset members, including Yair Lapid, the chairman of the Yesh Atid party. Haaretz diplomatic reporter, Barak Ravid, noted that the visit was “highly unusual” and must have been approved by the Saudi government.

Public conversations between Israeli and Saudi figures have been increasingly frequent and visible in recent months. Former Israeli National Security Advisor, Yaakov Amidror, and former Saudi intelligence chief, Prince Turki al-Faisal, engaged in a public discussion on regional issues at an event at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy in May. Although the two former officials differed on the Mideast peace process, both emphasized the threat posed by Iran. That same month, officials from Israel and Saudi Arabia revealed that representatives from their countries had been engaging in secret meetings since 2014 to discuss Iran’s threat to the region.

Source: Excerpt of article, The Israel Project, in its publication The Tower.

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