Israeli FM Israel Katz says he is working toward “transparent normalization and signed agreements” with a number of Persian Gulf littoral states as the countries do not shy away from disclosing their clandestine relations with the Tel Aviv regime following years of secretive contacts.
Katz told a ministers’ meeting in Jerusalem al-Quds on Tuesday that he recently met with a “high ranking persona” from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to improve ties between Israel and Arab states.
The top Israeli diplomat further noted that the two reached “substantial agreements.”
“We do not have a conflict with them (Arab states),” Katz commented.
Katz arrived in the Emirati capital city of Abu Dhabi on June 30 for a UN environmental conference, where he discussed cooperation against Iran, as well as economic and transport collaboration, Israeli i24NEWS television news network reported.
“I am excited to stand here in Abu Dhabi and to represent the interests of… Israel in front of the … [Persian] Gulf states,” Katz said upon the conclusion of his visit.
“I will continue to work with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to promote the normalization policy with our leading prowess, based on Israel’s capabilities, both in the fields of security and intelligence, and in the various civilian arenas. I see this as one of the major challenges in my position as foreign minister, and I intend to continue leading this policy in the future,” he added.
Earlier this year, the Israeli regime re-launched a “virtual embassy” in a bid to “promote dialogue” with the Persian Gulf Arab states.
Netanyahu in late November last year visited Oman, where he met Sultan Sayyid Qaboos bin Said Al Said at the Bait al-Barakah Royal Palace in the coastal city of Seeb near the capital Muscat.
On October 26 last year, Israeli culture and sports minister Miri Regev traveled to the UAE to accompany Israel’s judo team at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam 2018.
Her visit to the UAE marked the first of its kind by an Israeli minister to a Persian Gulf littoral state.
The president of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) said last December that the then chief of staff of the Israeli military, Gadi Eisenkot, had secretly traveled twice to the UAE a month earlier, and had met with senior officials there.
Mort Fridman further noted that an agreement on the sale of Israeli military hardware to the UAE was struck during the meeting.
Tel Aviv and Abu Dhabi have no diplomatic ties and the UAE does not recognize Israel, but the two sides have increased backchannel cooperation in recent years. There have been numerous reports of growing contacts between Saudi and Israeli officials too.
Among Arab countries, Israel has diplomatic relations only with Egypt and Jordan.