by WorldTribune Staff, November 20, 2017
Israel is engaged in covert relations with Arab and Muslim states and is respecting those nations’ requests not to name them, Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said.
“We have ties, some of them secret, with many Arab and Muslim states,” Steinitz told Army Radio on Nov. 19.
“Usually the one who wants those ties to be discreet is the other side,” he added, in response to a question about whether the ties are with Saudi Arabia.
“We respect the wishes of the other side when contacts are developing, whether it is with Saudi Arabia or other Arab or Muslim countries,” said Steinitz.
Recent reports indicated that a senior member of the Saudi royal family, perhaps even Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman himself, held high-level talks with Israeli officials during a recent clandestine trip to the Jewish state.
Saudi Arabia denied the reports, saying they were unfounded.
Steinitz’s comments came after Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar reported last week that the Saudi government is considering the possible normalization of relations with Israel ahead of a planned Middle East peace program by the Trump administration which aims to not only secure a final status agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, but lead to recognition of the Jewish state by the larger Arab world.