Israel is confirmed to be working with Saudi Arabia directly along with other Arab countries in the fight against terrorism, said CIA Director Mike Pompeo on Saturday, according to this this article by the Jerusalem Post.
These comments were talked about at the Reagan National Defense Forum in the U.S. state of California, where Mike Pompeo cited the dangers Iran is posing not just to the United States, but also to other states within the region, as a key uniting factor.
“We’ve seen them [Saudi Arabia] work with the Israelis to push back against terrorism throughout the Middle East, to the extent we can continue to develop those relationships and work alongside them – the Gulf states and broader Middle East will likely be more secure,” Pompeo told the audience.
Former Secretary of Defense and also Former Director of the CIA Leon Panetta also spoke at this event. He took his speech as an opportunity to ask Arab nations to form a coalition with Israel, Turkey, and the U.S. in order to run a joint military center for operations.
“It is incredibly important that in the Middle East, where we have failed states, where you have ISIS [ said Daesh], where you have Iran, that we have got to develop a stronger coalition of countries that are willing to work together to confront these challenges,” he stated at the event.
“I think with a joint military headquarters, that can… target the terrorists in that region, that can basically work together to try to provide stability where is necessary in these countries,” Panetta added in conclusion.
The rumors about Saudi Arabia normalizing relationships with Israel had been brought to the front once again in November of this year just after Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz made a confession that Tel Aviv was using covert contacts with Riyadh amid popular concerns about Iran.
Only days before, the Saudi news agency Elaph, which is nearing the decision making rounds in Riyadh, published in an interview hel with the Israeli Army’s Chief Of Staff, Gadi Eisenkot; a step that was described and detailed as a move to bring Israeli and Saudi relations into the public eye.
These reports had reignited the controversy back during September when whistle-blower Mujtahidd made leaks of reports confirming the alleged interest of the Kingdom in accepting Israel as a “brotherly state.”
The Saudi public continues to firmly reject attempts made to normalize relationships with Israel as seen in the past, such reports have prompted some concern by many people.
Saudi officials maintain that any relationships with Israel are hinging on Israeli withdrawing from Arab lands captured during the 1967 Middle East war, this is territory that Palestinians are seeking for a future state. Although, there are rumors of existing cooperation that persist, allegedly including Saudi backing for the Israel-Palestine peace plan proposed by the U.S. to be released in 2018.