Itongadol.- Foreign minister says talks with Saudi Arabia and Kuwait held in attempt to establish diplomatic ties based on common fear from Iran.
Israel is holding secret talks with some Arab states that do not recognise it, looking to establish diplomatic ties based on a common fear of Iran, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman told Yedioth Ahronot in an interview published on Monday.
Amongst the countries he was in contact with were Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, Lieberman said – the first such disclosure by a senior Israeli official.
The two nations swiftly denied the existence of any talks with Israel.
Both these states, along with most other Arab nations, have traditionally been highly hostile towards Israel, which has only signed peace deals with two neighbours – Egypt and Jordan.
However, anti-Israeli sentiment was being superseded by a growing concern over Iran\’s nuclear program, Tehran\’s regional allies, and the menace of Islamist militancy, Lieberman said.
"For the first time there is an understanding there that the real threat is not Israel, the Jews or Zionism. It is Iran, global jihad, (Lebanese Shi\’ite guerrilla group) Hezbollah and al-Qaeda," the foreign minister said.
"There are contacts, there are talks, but we are very close to the stage in which within a year or 18 months it will no longer be secret, it will be conducted openly," added Lieberman, who is a far rightist in the coalition government.