Jordan: Israel-Arab Military Alliance Against Iran ‘Not on Table’

Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi. (AP Photo/Hadi Mizban)

“There are no discussions about [establishing] a military coalition that consists of Israel,” Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi told Qatari news outlet Al-Jazeera on Wednesday, refuting a report from earlier this week that Israel and Arab countries partook in a secret military summit in March in the Egyptian resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh.

According to Al-Jazeera, Safadi emphasized that “the matter is also not on the agenda for U.S. President Joe Biden’s visit to the region in July.”

On Sunday, the Wall Street Journal reported that the United States organized the secret meeting in Egypt with senior officials from the IDF and military chiefs from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Egypt and Jordan over the Iranian threat.

According to the report, IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi, his Saudi counterpart Fayyad bin Hamed Al-Ruwaili, and military officials from Qatar, Jordan, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates met in Sharm el-Sheikh.

The talks were described as the first steps towards regional cooperation and covered aerial threats posed by Iran, including drones, and how to defend against them.

Meanwhile, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, a Qatari pan-Arab media outlet headquartered in London, reported on Tuesday that a powerful contingent of the Egyptian defense and intelligence establishment opposes any sort of regional coalition against Iran.

Additionally, sources told the paper that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi’s recent visit to Oman was meant to deliver a conciliatory message to the Iranians, whereby Cairo is not interested in any military conflict with Tehran.

President Biden will arrive in Israel on July 13. It will be the first leg of his trip to the region, which will end on July 16 after visits to the Palestinian Authority and Saudi Arabia.

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