(February 4, 2020 / JNS) The United States, Israel and the UAE met in a secret trilateral meeting at the White House in December surrounding coordination against Iran, reported Axios on Tuesday, citing U.S. and Israeli officials.
The Dec. 17 meeting was part of the Trump administration’s efforts to strengthen ties between Arab countries and the Jewish state. This included discussing a UAE-Israel nonaggression pact.
The meeting included U.S. National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien; Victoria Coates, deputy national security adviser for Middle East and North Africa; U.S. special representative for Iran Brian Hook; Israeli national security adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat; and Emirati Ambassador to the United States Yousef Al Otaiba.
At the beginning of his weekly Cabinet meeting on Dec. 22, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “The UAE Foreign Minister, Abdullah bin Zayed, spoke about a new alliance in the Middle East: An Israeli-Arab alliance. … I can only say that this remark is the result of the ripening of many contacts and efforts, which at the moment, and I emphasize at the moment, would be best served by silence.”
A senior White House official told Axios, “While the United States would certainly welcome expanding relationships between our critical allies and partners in the Middle East, we’re not going to detail private diplomatic conversations, nor do we have anything to announce.”
Emirati officials declined to comment to the outlet.
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