Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is working towards normalizing relations with Saudi Arabia, a report on Hadashot News said. According to the report, Israel and Saudi Arabia have maintained behind-the-scenes relations for some time, and Netanyahu would like to make the relationship official – preferably before elections are held in Israel. The Prime Minister’s Office had no comment on the report.
Guiding the effort for Israel is Mossad head Yossi Cohen, working together with American officials, the report said. The relationship with Saudi Arabia, as well as with numerous other countries, are based on efforts to ensure that Iran does not attempt to encroach on the power structure in the Arab world, a security official was quoted as saying.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in October visited Oman, where he met with the country’s ruler, Sultan Qaboos Bin-Sa’id, after visiting an innovation conference being held in the country. During the meeting, Bin-Sa’id said that his country was one of “several neighboring countries that are extending a hand to Israel and normalizing relations with it.” In a joint statement, the two said that they “discussed ways to advance the Middle East peace process and discussed a number of issues of mutual interest to achieve peace and stability in the Middle East.”
A day after that visit, Omani Foreign Minister Yousef Bin-Alawi Bin-Abdullah said at a regional conference that “Israel is a fact of life in the Middle East, and everyone knows it. The whole world recognizes this, and it is time that we all take this into consideration when setting policy.”