Israel, UAE sign a secret deal worth millions of dollars
Regimes of Israel and the United Arab Emirates have been recently engaged in secret talks, brokered by the US, to share their information and coordinate their efforts against Iran, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Quoting US officials familiar with the secret talks, the American daily said the meetings were arranged by US special representative for Iran, Brian Hook.The first meeting was held this spring, and the second took place more recently, the report quoted a US official as saying.
“The discussions among US, Israeli and Emirati officials, although still in the preliminary stages, appear to indicate those contacts have gone beyond being symbolic and exploratory to mapping coordination on specific issues,” US officials told the WSJ.According to documents obtained by Israeli newspaper Haaretz, the deal involved total payments of about three billion shekels ($846 million).
The documents note that at least part of this sum was paid in cash, linking high-ranking Emirati officials to one of the companies involved in the transaction.
An examination by Haaretz of hundreds of documents and email correspondence leaked from the Appleby law firm show that the UAE’s military sought to acquire two spy planes.
The investigation further revealed that the person behind the supply of the planes is Israeli businessman and entrepreneur Matanya “Mati” Kochavi.
Kochavi, through his business enterprise the Swiss firm AGT International, purchased two executive jets from the Canadian firm Bombardier (serial numbers 9494, 9517) in 2012, for about 43 million euros per plane.
Tel Aviv and Abu Dhabi have no diplomatic ties and the UAE does not recognize Israel, but the two sides have increased backchannel cooperation in recent years.
On June 30, Israeli foreign minister Yisrael Katz visited the United Arab Emirates, where he met and held talks with senior authorities.
Last year, Israeli culture and sports minister Miri Regev traveled to the UAE to accompany Israel’s judo team at the Abu Dhabi Grand Slam 2018.
Her visit to the UAE marked the first of its kind by an Israeli minister to a Persian Gulf littoral state.
In March 2015, the US -backed –Saudi-led coalition started a war against Yemen with the declared aim of crushing the Houthi Ansarullah movement, who had taken over from the staunch Riyadh ally and fugitive former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, while also seeking to secure the Saudi border with its southern neighbor. Three years and over 600,000 dead and injured Yemeni people and prevented the patients from travelling abroad for treatment and blocked the entry of medicine into the war-torn country, the war has yielded little to that effect.
Despite the coalition claims that it is bombing the positions of the Ansarullah fighters, Saudi bombers are flattening residential areas and civilian infrastructures.
More than 2,200 others have died of cholera, and the crisis has triggered what the United Nations has described as the world’s worst humanitarian disaster.