The United States held a “secret trilateral meeting” with representatives from Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on coordination against Iran, officials told Axios news.
The meeting, of which Jared Kushner was reported to be a key proponent, took place on 17 December as part of a wider initiative to establish closer diplomatic ties between Israel, the UAE and other Arab states through the discussion of a possible nonaggression pact between the three parties.
They agreed that Iran must be stopped, and its power must be restrained at any price.
According to Israeli news site Arutz Sheva, on Israel’s side were Meir Ben-Shabbat, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s national security adviser.
And representing the UAE was Yousef Al-Otaiba, the country’s ambassador to the US and “ a very close adviser” to the UAE’s ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Zayed, according to Axios.
He was present while US President Donald Trump announced the so-called “peace plan” with Netanyahu at the White House last week, which he later described as a “serious initiative” and a “starting point” towards negotiations between Israel and Palestine.
Israeli and US officials told Axios news that the secret meeting explained a tweet that was posted by the UAE Foreign Minister, Abdullah Bin Zayed, on 21 December, when he wrote: “Islam’s reformation, an Arab-Israeli alliance is taking shape in the Middle East.”
Islam’s reformation: an Arab-Israeli alliance is taking shape in the Middle East | The Spectator https://t.co/uzJNi6GUsa— عبدالله بن زايد (@ABZayed) December 21, 2019
Netanyahu responded to the tweet saying that Bin Zayed’s comment “is the result of the ripening of many contacts and efforts.”
In the past year, three meetings have taken place between the US, Israel and the UAE, reported Middle East Eye. These have come amid Israel’s ongoing efforts to expand its influence across the Middle East and North Africa.
In addition, Bin Zayed last week tweeted a piece regarding Trump’s so-called “peace plan” by controversial New York Times columnist Bret Stephens headlined “Every Time Palestinians Say ‘No,’ They Lose“.
Opinion | Every Time Palestinians Say ‘No,’ They Lose – The New York Times https://t.co/QcG8N632Ad— عبدالله بن زايد (@ABZayed) January 31, 2020