Report says Israel and some Arab states are discussing military alliance
Israel will appoint a military attaché to the US Fifth Fleet headquarters in Bahrain, Eitan Naeh, Israel’s ambassador to Manama announced on Monday.
“It will happen soon,” Naeh told Israel’s Army Radio, although no date has been set. “It’s in the midst of various bureaucratic processes. I think that by the summer we will have a fuller staff, as well as other officials joining the embassy.”
The ambassador’s remarks came on the second day of the “Negev Summit” in the Israeli settlement of Sde Boker, involving Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukri, Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdullatif Al Zayani, United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed, Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
The Jerusalem Post newspaper quoted “sources close” to Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid as saying that Israel and the Arab states with which it has “normalization” agreements – the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain – brokered by the administration Trump were discussing a military alliance targeting Iran. Saudi Arabia is sticking to the Arab League’s position of refusing normalization until Israel concedes Palestinian statehood.
“Already in early conversations, and in the context of security challenges in Europe, ideas have been put forward to advance a regional security architecture that will strengthen deterrence against air and maritime threats,” the source said, according to the Post. Israel and Arab Gulf states have opposed 11-month talks in Vienna aimed at reviving Iran’s 2015 nuclear program, though Israel has recently expressed its desire to cooperate with the United States.