A “historic” agreement may be in the making due to the common fear of Iran.
By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News
Foreign Minister Israel Katz confirmed on Sunday that Israel has been working toward achieving the historic goal of reaching non-aggression pacts with Gulf countries.
“Recently I have been promoting, with the backing of the prime minister, a diplomatic initiative to sign ‘non-aggression agreements’ with the Arab Gulf states,” the foreign minister tweeted.
“It’s a historic move that will end the conflict and enable civilian cooperation until the signing of peace agreements,” he added.
The confirmation followed an Israeli Channel 12 News report on Saturday which said that such negotiations have been made possible by the common interest of both the Jewish State and Arab Gulf countries: countering Iran.
During his speech in late September at the opening of the U.N. General Assembly, Katz stressed the vital need for all countries to stand against Tehran, referring to the Islamic Republic as “the biggest terrorist state and the biggest terror-supporting state in the world.”
The Israeli foreign minister also declared that Israel has “no conflict with the Gulf states, and we have common interests in the field of security against the Iranian threat as well as in developing many joint civilian initiatives.”
According to the TV report, the salient security aspects of the nascent agreement include ensuring that neither party plans or finances “acts or threats of war, hostility, subversion, violence or incitement” against the other and refuses to join or help a third-party military organization or alliance that threatens the other.
It also includes the hope of normalization of ties, said Channel 12, with a clause envisioning the “development of friendly relations and cooperation in accordance with the provisions of the United Nations Charter and the principles of international law.”
Working groups would be established in the respective countries to further refine the document’s main points, said the report.
Katz is also said to have shared the document with Jason Greenblatt, U.S. President Trump’s outgoing special envoy to the Middle East, who has been working for the last two years on a framework for a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. This pact is envisioned to go into effect regardless of any progress – or lack thereof – on the Israeli-Palestinian track.
President Trump called on Arab countries to normalize ties with Israel when he spoke at the opening of the General Assembly.
“Thankfully, there is a growing recognition in the wider Middle East that the countries of the region share common interest in battling extremism and unleashing economic opportunity,” he said. “That is why it’s so important to have full normalized relations between Israel and its neighbors.”