Israel expresses optimism about developing relations with three more Arab Gulf states

TEL AVIV – In a report issued by the Israeli Ministry of Intelligence, it states that the recent agreement with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to establish diplomatic relations between the two countries, has created a positive outlook for potential future relations and cooperation between Israel and three Arab Gulf states, i.e. Oman, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. Bahrain has already implicitly agreed to the use of its airspace for Israeli aircraft from and to the UAE.

According to the Times of Israel the Intelligence Ministry report said that future military and intelligence relations with Oman, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia are possible since these countries have aligned interests (hostility with Iran) and shared allies (the U.S.) with Israel. Both factors could pave the way for Israel’s cooperation with those countries in the military, intelligence, and even civilian fields. The Times of Israel obtained a copy of the new ministry report and quoted;

“The emerging agreement with the UAE may open the door for the advancement of ties with additional Arab Gulf countries, primarily (in order of probability) Oman, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia,”

On Saudi Arabia the report said:

“The kingdom’s network of threats largely overlap with Israel’s network of threats, which may serve as the basis for military and intelligence cooperation in a bilateral framework or as part of regional alliances.”

One sign pointing to this positive outlook of cooperation and normalization of relations is that the Bahraini government has agreed to the UAE’s request to allow aircraft departing from the UAE and arriving from all countries of the world to pass through Bahrain airspace. The Bahraini government did not specifically mention Israel, but according to the UAE-Israel agreement, flights will be operated between the two countries, meaning Bahrain will also allow Israeli aircraft to fly through its airspace.

The United Arab Emirates is the third Arab country after Egypt and Jordan to establish full diplomatic relations with Israel.

There might be more potential for Israel to normalize relations with Middle-eastern countries. In August, the leader of the Iraqi Umma Party Mithal al-Alusi called on his government to do the same. In comments to Shafaaq News Agency al-Alusi stated;

“Iraq needs to get out of the wars and extremism, and it needs to build stable relations with all countries of the world. For this Iraq needs a peace agreement with Israel,”…  but that “the Iraqi politicians are afraid of Iran, and Tehran controls their decisions, otherwise, Iraq would have preceded the UAE in concluding a peace agreement with Israel.”

Sudan seems to be heading that way, albeit a bumpy way.