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    Alliance Between Israel and Arab World Would be Fruitful for Both – Prof.

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    The Palestine Liberation Organization has ruled to suspend its recognition of the state of Israel. The news comes as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has visited Oman in a bid to achieve peace and stability. Radio Sputnik discussed the significance of the visit with Dr. Hassan Nafaa, professor of political science at Cairo University.

    Dr. Hassan Nafaa: It is very significant because it is not the first visit of Prime Minister to Muscat. The late Shimon Peres has been received by Sultan of Oman in the 1990's, 20 years before.

    But this was immediately after the framing of the Oslo Agreement. So, by this time it looked like as if the Arabs are willing to boost the peace process. Now, there is no peace process, it is all almost dead.

    The Arabian World is holding Israel and especially Netanyahu as accountable for what happened to the peace process because it is not really related to state religion. So, it is very badly hit by the Peer Law, by the Palestinians in general, by the Arab public opinion and it is considered as regulated by the Arab initiative which was adopted at the Arab Summit in Beirut 2002.

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    But there are other interpretations to this visit. Some analysts consider this has some link with what is going on with Iran. As you know Muscat has been claimed the role of mediator between the Iranians and the United States and we all know that there would be really strong sanctions against Iran after the Congressional elections in November. So, maybe this could have a link with this not necessarily in direct correlation with the peace process.

    Sputnik: Now, we know this has been an unraveling of relations between the Peer Law and Israel ever since, it's got worse obviously since the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital by the United States. Now, some experts have said that the move gives Israel more momentum for a diplomatic push in the Gulf where it views [the] Arab States as allies against Iran. What are your thoughts on that?

    Dr. Hassan Nafaa: Yes, the matter of fact, if we look at this issue from an Israeli perspective or from an Israeli point of view, Israel has been targeting all the Gulf states and recently there has been a strong cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Israel.

    This for Saudi Arabia made Iran the greatest threat. So, the United States is very happy with this cooperation and has been trying to build an alliance led by Saudi Arabia in coordination with other Arab states to confront Iran.

    But now Saudi Arabia is facing a real challenge of targeting of Khashoggi in the Saudi Arabia Consulate in Istanbul. So, maybe Israel is trying to give the impression that everything is going well and there are other Arab countries that are willing to cooperate with Saudi Arabia.

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    And the Prime Minister in charge Mr. Netanyahu has statements that this visit is not the only one, and 100 % will be followed by other visits to other Arab countries. So it is in the interest of Israel to give the impression that despite the policies with the Palestinians, the cooperation with other Arab countries are going on and there is no problem at all.

    Sputnik: The United Emirates have played Israel's anthem for the first time and the Judo tournament and this obviously combines with the forming? of the relations in the region. Can this visit then be perceived as the thumbsore in the relations between Israel and the Arab neighbors then?

    Dr. Hassan Nafaa: I think there is a strong alliance between Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and there is a close relationship between Mohammad bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, and Mohammed bin Zayed, the Crown Prince of the [United] Arab Emirates.

    And this is the backbone of the alliance in the war against Yemen and also easing the way for a close relationship between Israel and Arab Emirates to make Iran increasingly perceived by many Arab countries as the main threat.

    So, Israel wants to take advantage of this situation and to consider Iran as a threat for the whole Arab World and alliance between Israel and Arab World will be fruitful for both, for Israel, for the Arab World.

    But this is not the public opinion, the perception of what is going on. And until now Israel is considered within the Arab World and Iraq especially by the public opinion as the main threat, not Iran.

    The views and opinions expressed by the speaker do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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    alliance, Arabs, Middle East, Arab Summit, Jamal Khashoggi, Benjamin Netanyahu, Gulf States, Palestine, Israel, Saudi Arabia
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