Gulf states reach out to Israel to normalise ties in exchange for “peace concessions”

Gulf States have reached out to Israel to normalise ties by offering a series of political and economic gestures in return for “concessions” in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The initiative which is being led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates include measures that will put a freeze on Israeli settlements and ease the blockade of the Gaza Strip.

In return, the Gulf states would introduce direct telecommunications links with Israel, allowing the Zionist entity’s aircraft to use their airspace, as well as lifting trade restrictions.

There may also be visas issued to Israeli trade delegates and athletes for major sporting events in the Gulf, the report added.

A senior Arab official involved in the discussions was quoted as saying: “We no longer see Israel as an enemy, but a potential opportunity.”

The normalisation measures were part of an embargoed discussion paper shared among Gulf states, according to the WSJ.

Neither the Gulf countries or Israel have officially denied or confirmed the reports.

In the last 20 years, relations between the Gulf States and Israel have strengthened, especially in intelligence sharing due to their shared fears about Iran’s geopolitical influence in the region.

 

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