An Israeli cabinet minister said on Sunday that Israel has had covert contacts with Saudi Arabia, a first disclosure by a senior official from either side of long-rumored secret dealings.
In an interview on Army Radio, Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz’s, a member of Netanyahu’s security cabinet, did not characterize the contacts or give details when asked why Israel was “hiding its ties” with Saudi Arabia.
He replied: ”We have ties that are indeed partly covert with many Muslim and Arab countries, and usually (we are) the party that is not ashamed.
“It’s the other side that is interested in keeping the ties quiet. With us, usually, there is no problem, but we respect the other side’s wish, when ties are developing, whether it’s with Saudi Arabia or with other Arab countries or other Muslim countries, and there is much more … (but) we keep it secret.”
The Saudi government had no immediate response to Steinitz’s remarks. A spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also did not respond immediately to a request to comment.