Israeli PM Sends Minister for Security Talks with US: Focus on Deterring Iran and Saudi Nuclear Program

Israeli PM Sends Minister for Security Talks with US: Focus on Deterring Iran and Saudi Nuclear Program

Shafaq News/ Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is reportedly dispatching Ron Dermer, the Israeli Minister of Strategic Affairs, for discussions to forge a security agreement between Israel and the United States. This agreement is intended to deter Iran and explore potential cooperation between the US and Saudi Arabia on a civilian nuclear program within Saudi territory, alongside the prospect of normalization.

An exclusive report by Axios reveals that Dermer is scheduled to engage in discussions at the White House on August 17, where he is slated to meet with key officials integral to US diplomacy in the Middle East. 

His planned discussions include meetings with White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, Brett McGurk, the senior adviser for the Middle East, and Amos Hochstein, Special Presidential Coordinator for Global Infrastructure and Energy Security. These officials play pivotal roles in shaping US interactions with Saudi Arabia.

White House representatives have recently embarked on two visits to Saudi Arabia, underscoring the United States' commitment to fostering a robust relationship with the kingdom. The upcoming dialogue with Dermer follows these interactions and is anticipated to encompass the outcomes of the talks held with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The discussions between Dermer and US officials are expected to touch on a potential security agreement that could encompass strategies to counter Iran's activities. This approach aligns with the broader diplomatic context as the Biden administration navigates diplomatic channels with Saudi Arabia and Israel.

While the Israeli Prime Minister's office refrained from commenting on the Axios report, a senior Israeli official confirmed Dermer's planned visit to Washington. The official indicated that the discussions would fall within the framework of ongoing dialogues with the Biden administration. A senior White House echelon counterpart described Dermer's visit as part of a "routine participation in a wide range of issues."

Amidst the discussions, a salient topic expected to surface is the negotiations between the United States and Saudi Arabia concerning a potential civilian nuclear program on Saudi soil. Israeli officials, current and former senior security personnel, have expressed concerns about this aspect of the anticipated US-Saudi agreement. The worry centers on the potential implications for Israel's security interests.

Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid, in a meeting with a congressional delegation led by House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, conveyed his opposition to any arrangement permitting Saudi Arabia to enrich uranium.

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