Israel, Saudi in 'direct contact' over Iran, big Jordan decision coming: Israeli minister

Israel, Saudi in 'direct contact' over Iran, big Jordan decision coming: Israeli minister
Israel, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf nations are having 'direct contacts' concerning Iran, while Israel is set to reveal 'very important' news concerning Jordan.
2 min read
10 August, 2021
Issawi Frej discussed Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Jordan and Palestine in an interview [EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty]

Israel and Saudi Arabia are in direct contact about regional foe Iran, an Israeli minister has said.

Israel's Regional Cooperation Minister Issawi Frej said there were "understandings" with Riyadh and other Gulf countries about Iran, Alhurra reported on Monday, with meetings on the issue taking place.

Frej, a Palestinian citizen of Israel, told the Arabic-language broadcaster that the "risks" posed by Iran demand regional and international cooperation, leading to talks with Saudi Arabia, which does not officially recognise the State of Israel.

Frej said he "dreams" of traveling directly to Saudi Arabia for Hajj, a scenario he feels is likely to happen in the near future.

He also praised Israel's strong relations with Saudi Arabia's neighbour, the UAE.

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Frej added that Israel Prime Minister Naftali Bennett will travel to Jordan soon to rebuild ties and "restore confidence" after relations broke down under former premier Benjamin Netanyahu.

"There will be cooperation" on the economy, regarding solar energy and water, he said.

He said there was also a plan to connect the Dead Sea and the Gulf of Eilat - which never got off the ground for "technical and political reasons" - is still being considered by his office.

"Over the coming weeks, a decision will be taken that will be very important for the make-up and type of relations with the brothers in Jordan," he said, but did not clarify.

Frej, who is a member of the left-wing Meretz Party, also claimed that Israel is looking into the "suffering" of "our Palestinian brothers" in Gaza. He said the country is considering the Paris Protocol, a deal which set out Israeli-Palestinian cooperation and under his ministry, and could include Gaza in the agreement.

Palestine is likely to be on the agenda in an upcoming meeting between US officials and PM Bennett, he added.