Israel has had secret talks with Arab countries: Netanyahu

Israel has had secret talks with several Arab countries to normalize relations, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said.

“There are many more unpublicized meetings with Arab and Muslim leaders,” Netanyahu said during joint remarks here on Sunday alongside Jared Kushner, US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, and National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien.

Netanyahu said these Arab leaders “recognize that their true interests are to normalize relations with Israel”, reports Xinhua news agency.

Kushner referred to the so-called Abraham Accord, the August 13 US-brokered peace agreement between Israel and the UAE to normalize ties, as a “historic breakthrough,” saying “the stage is set” for other Arab states to follow the UAE.

The August 13 announcement has paved the way to “previously unthinkable” economic, security and religious cooperation between Israel and the UAE, Kushner added.

Kushner and O’Brien will join an official Israeli delegation that will fly to Abu Dhabi, UAE on Monday.

This will be the first commercial flight between the two states.

The Israeli delegation will be headed by the chief of the National Security Council Meir Ben Shabbat.

According to the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office, the talks will focus on “ways to promote cooperation in a variety of fields such as aviation and tourism, trade, economy and finance, health, energy, security and more”.