19:32 GMT +314 December 2018
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    Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman stands next to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi at the Presidential Palace in Cairo, Egypt November 27, 2018

    Egypt, Saudi Arabia Urge Arab Nations to Develop Ties With Israel – Report

    © REUTERS / Bandar Algaloud/Courtesy of Saudi Royal Court
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    Although Saudi Arabia is officially at a state of war with Israel, reports indicate that the two countries covertly maintain ties, especially with respect to military and intelligence issues. Egypt, in turn, signed a peace treaty with Israel 39 years ago and has since maintained official diplomatic ties with the Jewish state.

    Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman are seeking to encourage other Arab nations to establish trade ties with Israel and resolve political differences with the Jewish state, according to Al-Arabi Al-Jadid.

    The newspaper reported that the two leaders discussed the issue during Bin Salman's visit to Cairo on Monday, when they also focused on US President Donald Trump's peace plan for the Middle East settlement, which is expected to be unveiled in December.

    READ MORE: Trump's Envoy Warns Neither Israel Nor Palestine Will Like US Peace Plan

    Government officials in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Israel have yet to comment on the Al-Arabi report.

    Earlier this month, Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked argued that Trump was wasting his time laying out a roadmap for ending her nation’s conflict with Palestinians and that differences were too substantial between Israel and Palestinian Authority.

    In September, Trump said he would be ready to present his Middle East peace plan in the coming months after working on it in secret. He stressed that a two-state solution was the best way forward for Israel and Palestine.

    READ MORE: Saudi Arabia 'May Hope Israel Will Do the Job for Them and Fight Iran' – Analyst

    White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner and Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt have been working to put together a US plan that could bring peace to the region.

    Last December, Trump announced the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, in a move that was followed by mass protests among Palestinians.

    The Palestinian Authority's President Mahmoud Abbas, for his part, made it clear that Ramallah would no longer accept the United States as a mediator in the Middle Eastern peace process.

    READ MORE: 'There Is No Peace Plan' on Palestine Issue: US Promotes Own Ideas — Analyst

    In November 2017, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu admitted that despite having no diplomatic relations with Riyadh, Tel Aviv had developed "contacts" with Saudi Arabia, which he said "have been kept in general secret".

    With Riyadh rejecting allegations about bolstering its relations with Tel Aviv, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman recognized Israel's right to exist earlier this year.

    The Egypt–Israel peace treaty was signed by then-Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and then-Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin in March 1979, following the two leaders' signing the 1978 Camp David Accords.

    Related:

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    ‘Only Game in Town’: Saudi Heir Allegedly Urges Abbas to Accept US Peace Plan
    Tags:
    roadmap, trade, intelligence, war, ties, Donald Trump, Mohammed bin Salman, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia
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