Netanyahu tasks Mossad head to forge ties with S.Arabia
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday appointed Mossad head Yossi Cohen to work to establish diplomatic ties between Israel and Saudi Arabia, local media reported.
According to Israeli TV Hadashot, the Israeli government began a political process to normalize bilateral ties between Tel Aviv and Riyadh in the runup to the general elections set for November 2019. Local media reported that the U.S. was also involved in the process.
A high-level Israeli government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that in light of the rising tension with Iran, Tel Aviv made contacts with a number of Arab states, including Saudi Arabia.
Netanyahu’s office has yet to release an official statement on the issue.
In late October, Netanyahu paid a surprise visit to Oman at the invitation of the ruler of the Gulf state, according to Netanyahu’s office. Israeli Communication Minister Ayoub Kara also visited the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to attend a conference held in Dubai. A similar visit was paid by Israeli Culture Minister Miri Regev to Abu Dhabi, where Israel attended the Judo Grand Competition in the capital.
Israel’s Economy Minister Eli Cohen has also been invited to attend an international high-tech conference in Bahrain, according to Israeli media.
Israel currently does not have diplomatic relations with Bahrain, Oman, or the UAE.