August 16, 2019

I HAD BEEN ASSURED THAT TRUMP’S ABANDONMENT OF THE IRAN DEAL WOULD LEAVE US ISOLATED AND FRIENDLESS IN THE MIDDLE EAST: U.S. Arranges Secret Talks Between Israel, U.A.E. Over Iran. “Washington prods longtime adversaries on intelligence sharing, military cooperation against a common threat.”

The meetings were convened by Brian Hook, the State Department’s top official for Iran, and are the latest sign of a steady thaw between Israel and Gulf Arab nations, largely brought about by their shared antipathy toward Tehran and its attempts to spread its regional influence.

A first meeting took place this spring and a second was held more recently, a U.S. official said. The exact dates and locations of the unpublicized meetings couldn’t be learned. Their existence was known to only a handful of people within the U.S. government, officials said.

Israel has diplomatic ties among Arab states only with Egypt and Jordan. Historic disagreements remain with those two as well as other Arab nations, particularly over the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.

But covert, and occasionally overt, contacts between Israel and Gulf Arab nations have increased rapidly in recent years as concerns grew about Iran’s nuclear program and its role in conflicts in Iraq, Syria and Yemen.

Smart Diplomacy™.

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