Israeli, Egyptian, UAE leaders meet about ‘shared security interests’

An anonymous Egyptian source said “shared security interests” were the topics of discussion in the trilateral meeting.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett met with the Egyptian leader and crown prince of Abu Dhabi Tuesday in Sharm el-Sheikh to discuss mutual concerns regarding the region and the world, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said.

After flying into the Red Sea resort town Monday, Bennett sat down with President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and the United Arab Emirates’ de facto leader, Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan (MBZ).

“Against the backdrop of the recent developments in the world and the region, the leaders discussed the ties between the three countries and ways to strengthen them on all levels,” the PMO said of the second visit Bennett has made to Egypt in the last six months.

A spokesman for the Egyptian president said the three leaders “focused on issues regarding energy, market stability and food security, as well as regional and international issues.”

Egyptian sources cited by Reuters Monday said that the trilateral part of the meeting focused on the consequences of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The war in Europe is linked to the Middle East in at least one important way – oil. Extensive sanctions on Russia for its aggression have meant that its major oil and gas exports have been nixed by several countries, including the United States. The U.S. would reportedly like to see its allies in Gulf countries, like the UAE and Saudi Arabia, increase their oil production to make up at least part of the difference and to keep gasoline prices from shooting up even more.

However, the Gulf countries have not answered the call. They – as well as Israel – are have voiced disappointment over what they see as American disregard for their security worries. Concerns include Iranian support of its Houthi terrorist proxies in Yemen, who have been increasing their rocket attacks on Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Jerusalem is also well aware that long-range Iranian missiles can hit Israeli territory from Yemen.

There has been no pushback from Washington against the Houthi attacks on its allies. One obvious move the Biden administration could make would be to put the Houthis back on its list of designated terrorist organizations after having removed them last year.

Other issues were discussed as well. According to The Jerusalem Post, the anonymous diplomats said that the trilateral meeting concentrated on “shared security interests, of which there are quite a few, in all their aspects.”

It can be assumed that one of them was the renewed nuclear deal, which the U.S. is reportedly close to signing with Iran.

Another almost-certain topic is the mutual concern regarding the Iranians’ last-minute demand for Washington to remove the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps from the American designated terrorist list.