Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer is set to fly out to the White House at the behest of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu next week as part of ongoing efforts to reach a US-brokered normalization deal between Israel and Saudi Arabia, Walla reported on Friday evening.
Dermer's visit comes as Washington is in negotiations with the Saudis to bring about diplomatic relations between Jerusalem and Riyadh.
The strategic affairs minister will fly out next week on August 17 for talks with US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, as well as Middle East envoy Brett McGurk and US Special Envoy for International Energy Affairs Amos Hochstein, Walla reported, citing three unnamed Israeli and American senior officials.
The report of Dermer's upcoming White House trip also comes following Foreign Minister Eli Cohen's Wall Street Journal article, in which he argued the US should give Saudi Arabia a guarantee to defend it against Iranian nuclear aggression as part of a normalization deal with Israel.
If Iran builds a nuclear weapon, “it would almost certainly ignite a regional nuclear arms race,” with Saudi Arabia, Gulf States, Egypt and Turkey considering doing the same and “potentially plunging the entire Middle East into conflict,” Cohen wrote.
Saudi Arabia wants nuclear program
Saudi Arabia has asked for numerous sweeteners from the US, including a civilian nuclear program, which has raised concerns in Israel.
Lahav Harkov contributed to this report.