More Wikileaks, More Normalization.

قطر تدعوا مسؤول إسرائيلي بعد الاعتداء الصهيوني على غزه لمناقشة تطبيع العلاقات مع إسرائيل

1. (S) Summary. MFA Deputy Director General for the Middle East Yacov Hadas provided PolCouns March 16 with an overview of Israel’s relations with several of the Gulf states. Hadas described Israel’s relations with the Gulf as a function of the Gulf Arabs’ fear of Iran, but also as due to the Arabs’ belief in Israeli influence in Washington. Fleshing out some of the points he had made earlier to NEA Acting A/S Feltman (reftel), Hadas described Qatar’s shift toward the radical camp in the region as a “game” linked to Qatari rivalry with Saudi Arabia. Hadas believes Qatar is feeling pressure from Israel, Egypt and the Saudis, adding that he has been invited to visit Doha for talks about how to resume normal Qatari-Israeli ties. Hadas noted that while the Omanis are generally correct in their dealings with Israel, they appear not to recognize the seriousness of the threat from Iran. He said that while the UAE is increasingly hostile to Iran, it remains unclear how far they are willing to go in terms of increasing financial pressures on Tehran. Hadas said the Gulf Arabs feel that the U.S. does not listen to them and therefore sometimes try to pass messages through Israel. While he agreed that progress on the Palestinian track would make it easier for the Gulf states to be open about their ties to Israel, he cautioned that the Gulf states use the peace process as an “excuse not to take action” against Iran or in support of the PA. End Summary.

لواء سعودي متقاعد في منتدى يتناول موضوع السلام في الشرق الأوسط بمشاركة إسرائيليين

1. (C) Economic Cooperation Foundation (ECF) Director General Yair Hirschfeld briefed A/DCM and EconCouns January 14 on the latest session of a track-two working group on Middle East peace that includes participants from Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon, and the Palestinian Authority, as well as Hirschfeld and at least one other non-official Israeli. This group met at least three times in the second half of 2009, and is considered particularly interesting by Hirschfeld and other Israelis because of the participation of retired Saudi Major General Anwar Al-Eshki, who heads a Jeddah-based think tank. Hirschfeld said that Al-Eshki informed him that his participation and the ideas he presented were not officially endorsed by the Saudi government, but Saudi officials were aware of his actions and he does report all of his interactions with Israelis to his government. The Egyptian member of this group declined to attend this session, possibly out of concern over Al-Eshki’s proposal regarding Gaza reported below.

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