Thursday, April 25, 2019
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Israel funds rail project under the Gulf Initiative

Days after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's visit to Oman, a Muslim Gulf state that has no connection with Israel, the country's transport and intelligence bureau, Yisrael Katz arrived at the Sultanate on Monday to discuss a proposal for a railway line. the connection between Israel and Iran offers Gulf States, in another account of the warming relations between them.

Before leaving for an international transport conference in Muscat, "This is a historic visit that will improve relations between Israel and the Sultanate," Katz said, as the Jerusalem Post reports. "I intend to present and promote our joint initiative" Tracks for Regional Peace "to connect the Gulf States with Israel and the Mediterranean," he added.

After a map of a hoped-for rail network, the railway line extends through Jordan and Saudi Arabia to the Gulf.

The obvious strengthening of relations with the Gulf comes when the US impose stricter sanctions on Iran. Although Israel has no formal relations with the Gulf States, they share each other's concerns about Iran and its nuclear program.

Netanyahu has launched an initiative to build positive relations with the Gulf States, and especially with Saudi Arabia, Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, also known as MBS, is known for his soft attitude toward Israel.

The two countries, Israel and Saudi Arabia, see Iran as the biggest threat to their security. Saudi Arabia believes that Iran finances certain groups in Yemen as well as in Syria and Iraq, while Israel claims that Iran and its deputies or support groups such as Hezbollah are existential threats to its country.

Israel and Saudi Arabia agree that Iran must be stopped and its power reduced at all costs. It is noteworthy that Saudi Arabia considers Hamas as dangerous as Israel, believing that the Muslim Brotherhood and its affiliates are a direct threat to them.

As part of the new Israeli policy, Netanyahu held surprise talks with the Sultan Qaboos of Oman last Thursday in Muscat, accompanied by the Mossad leader, according to Netanyahu's office. The visit of Netanyahu is considered an overture towards the Gulf.

Foreign Affairs Minister Yusuf bin Alawi traveled to the city of Ramallah in the West Bank to deliver a message to Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas about the surprise visit by Netanyahu, the official Palestinian media said.

Earlier, Israeli Minister of Culture and Sports Miri Regev traveled to the famous Sheikh Zayed Mosque in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the Communications Minister gave a speech in Dubai, and the Israeli national anthem was played at a Judo competition in Abu Dhabi. Her visit to the United Arab Emirates for a judo tournament last week showed the country's new kind of relationship with the Gulf. Considering the fact that Israel maintains full diplomatic relations with two Arab countries, Egypt and Jordan, these visits are of great importance for the future of the region. For example, Palestinian presidential adviser Mohammad Shtayyeh called the situation after the visit "the beginning of a public normalization and the end of the Arab peace initiative".


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