Top officials from Saudi Arabia and Israel met secretly in Cairo a number of times in the past several months with the assistance of Egypt, according to a report published Friday by the Emirati daily Khaleej Times.
Delegations from Saudi Arabia, Israel and Egypt met at a luxury hotel in the ancient Egyptian capital to discuss economic issues, particularly those affecting the Red Sea region, according to the report.
The talks have also allegedly resulted in some financial damage to the Palestinian Authority.
As the talks have progressed, the Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr. Nizar bin Obaid Madani, has warned Turkey to respect the sovereignty of Arab states as it campaigns on behalf of the Palestinian Authority. For “Ankara to return to its former stability, it must take into consideration and respect the sovereignty of Arab states,” Madani said, adding that “the Arab world will not be run by its neighbors and its current situation is not permanent.”
Following U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas has repeatedly rejected the role of the United States as a mediator in final status talks with Israel, insisting the U.S. is biased towards the Jewish State.
And although Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has reportedly called on Abbas to accept the “deal of the century” – the as-yet-unannounced U.S. peace plan to end the conflict – Abbas is refusing to even consider it, sight unseen, calling it “the slap of the century” and demanding instead a global multi-lateral negotiation instead.
Turkey has long been biased towards Iranian-backed Hamas, originally spawned by the Muslim Brotherhood – an organization to which Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has long maintained a close affinity – and also advocates on for the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority.
But Saudi Arabia is not alone in taking Turkey to task over its behavior with its Arab neighbors. A senior official in the United Arab Emirates also warned Saturday that Turkey’s policy toward neighboring Arab states was “not reasonable” and likewise advised Ankara to respect the sovereignty of Arab states, Reuters reported.
“It is not secret that Arab-Turkish relations aren’t in their best state,” tweeted UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash. “In order to return to balance, Ankara has to respect Arab sovereignty and deal with its neighbors with wisdom and rationality.”
The UAE stands against “political forms of Islam,” Reuters wrote, adding the Gulf nation views Erdogan’s ruling Islamist AK Party as a support for the Muslim Brotherhood, which it also opposes.
This past December, an Emirati minister retweeted an accusation that Turkish troops looted the Islamic holy city of Medina 100 years ago. Erdogan retorted that the minister was spoiled by oil money. The spat has obviously continued in much the same manner as do other feuds in the Islamic world.