Israel working to secure ‘historic’ agreement with Gulf states

Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs Yisrael Katz in Abu Dhabi on June 30, 2019

October 05, 2019, 3:29 PM – latest revision October 06, 2019, 5:38 AM

Israel is apparently working to negotiate a “non-aggression pact” with Gulf states to confront hostilities from their shared enemy, Iran.

Israeli Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz on Sunday confirmed reports that he has been working on a political initiative to secure non-aggression treaties with Arab countries in the Gulf, with the backing of the United States. 

Hebrew-language Channel 12 reported Saturday evening that Katz recently held a series of meetings with various foreign ministers from the region and presented them with the initiative aimed at ending the long conflict with the Jewish state.

“The historic move will put an end to the conflict and allow civilian cooperation until peace agreements are signed,” Katz wrote on Twitter, confirming that he had presented the plan to Arab officials and US Special Middle East Envoy Jason Greenblatt while at the UNGA in New York last month. Israel FM: No-war pact with Gulf states ‘historic’ | October 6Play Video

Israel has pursued friendly ties and economic cooperation with Gulf states, seeking to unite around the “common interest” of Iranian hostility.

The “historic” deal would apparently seek to cultivate amicable relations and minimize potential conflicts in the region. 

Since assuming the role of foreign minister last February, Katz has been involved in a number of efforts to normalize relations with Arab states, a policy Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has long pursued. 

Netanyahu’s government–like US President Donald Trump’s administration–considers developing partnerships with Sunni Muslim countries in the Gulf a necessary step in the fight against Iran and terror sponsorship in the Middle East. 

Speaking to the United Nations General Assembly last month, Katz declared that Israel “has a clear policy to advance ties and normalization with Arab Gulf states.”

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