Israeli Official Meets Gulf State Reps in Ecuador


In another sign of warming relations between Israel and Arab Gulf States, an Israeli minister met openly with representatives from those countries in the Ecuadoran capital Quito on Wednesday, Times of Israel reported.

It was noted as the first time in recent years that such a meeting has taken place not behind closed doors. The occasion was the swearing-in of Lenin Moreno as Equador’s new president.

Likud Minister-Without-Portfolio Ayoub Kara had photos taken of the encounter with delegates from Oman, Qatar, Yemen and other Arab nations, along with a member from the Palestinian Authority. The prime minister of the Sahrawi Republic of southern Morocco, Abdelkader Taleb Omar, was also on hand.

Kara tweeted that he was “surprised by the warm attitude of representatives from the Gulf states,” and saw it as an early result from President Donald Trump’s Mideast visit.

“President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu are coordinating every step of this political initiative, and there is progress on the issue,” Kara said.

In a statement, Kara, who is Druze, described the meetings with the Arab delegates as “open and cordial,” and that all sides “expressed their approval to move forward with the political negotiations.”