Saturday, September 30, 2023

Israeli Intelligence Chief Holds Talks in Washington on Normalizing Israel-Saudi Relations

David Barnea, the head of Israeli intelligence, reportedly held secret talks in Washington with American officials regarding the Biden administration’s initiatives to strengthen ties between Israel and Saudi Arabia,

Barnea, who heads Israel’s Mossad intelligence service, met senior White House and CIA officials two weeks ago about the effort to establish diplomatic relations between the countries, Axios reported citing two anonymous US officials

President Joe Biden is eager to finalize this agreement by early next year, ahead of the 2024 campaign season, as he seeks to establish a more peaceful, secure, and stable Middle East region. The talks also addressed potential areas of collaboration, such as the prospect of the United States providing Riyadh with assistance in developing a civilian nuclear program and exploring possible arms sales to the Kingdom.

In a separate visit to Riyadh last week, Biden’s National Security Adviser, Jake Sullivan, held discussions with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and other senior Saudi officials. The visit focused on advancing a common vision for the Middle East region connected with the global community.

Barnea’s visit to Washington and interactions with key U.S. administration officials underscore Israel’s commitment to ensuring its security interests are well-communicated to the U.S. government. The talks aimed to lay the groundwork for enhanced cooperation between Israel and Saudi Arabia while addressing potential regional challenges.

The Biden administration appears to be proactively engaging with both Israel and Saudi Arabia in pursuit of its diplomatic objectives, seeking to establish a significant breakthrough in Middle East relations and foster a more stable and interconnected region. As these efforts continue, the world watches closely for potential outcomes and their implications on the broader geopolitical landscape.

Aimen Jamil
Aimen Jamil's intellectual curiosity lies at the intersection of Middle East and Pakistan Foreign Policy.

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