PM Netanyahu boards a plane 311 (R).
(photo credit: Baz Ratner / Reuters)
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said on Thursday that relations were being
expanded with some Arab countries, adding fuel to speculation that the countries
in question were cooperating with Israel to combat Iran.
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During a press
conference with visiting Romanian Prime Minister Emil Boc, Netanyahu said at the
end of his brief welcoming remarks, “We welcome the fact that we have the
ability to expand these newfound friendships – by the way, in the region, as we discussed with some of the countries, the Arab countries, but also
outside the region by tightening the bonds [with Romania] that are natural for
He did not elaborate on which newfound friendships he was referring
to among the Arab countries.
Asked about this comment, one government
official said that “because of the Iranian nuclear threat, we have had contacts
recently with countries in the region who share our concern.”
official refused to name the countries, though in recent months there has been
speculation that Israel was coordinating moves regarding stopping Iran’s nuclear
program with Saudi Arabia and several other Gulf states.
cache of US diplomatic cables released last year showed that the Gulf states and
other Arab leaders were extremely concerned about Iran, with Saudi King Abdullah
being quoted in 2008 as exhorting the US to take military action against Tehran
to “cut off the head of the snake.”
He was not alone; similar sentiments
were articulated in the cables by the leaders of Bahrain, the United Arab
Emirates, Egypt and Jordan.