WASHINGTON — A U.S.-based Saudi lobbyist called for closer economic ties between Israel and Saudi Arabia in an op-ed on The Hill, in possibly yet another sign of rapprochement between the ultra-conservative kingdom and the Zionist state.
In his op-ed, Salman al-Ansari, the founder and president of the Washington-based Saudi Public Relation Affairs Committee, asserted that “the prevailing political discourse might not only indicate that it is in the interest of [Saudi Arabia and Israel] to form a collaborative alliance, but in the interest of the greater Middle East and their global allies as well.”
Ansari called for solid foundation for establishing deep-rooted ties between the two countries that goes beyond the common perceived Iranian threat.
In July, a Saudi delegation headed by retired Saudi General Anwar Eshki that included Saudi academics and business people visited Israel, a development that would presumably not have been possible in tightly controlled Saudi Arabia without government consent.
And in a country where the press is also tightly controlled, the Saudi Gazette suggested last month that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas may have reacted too quickly in turning down a public invitation that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu extended to him to address the Knesset.