In a reflection of the change and churn in the Middle East, former high-level officials from Saudi Arabia and Israel — nations that have no formal diplomatic ties — spoke publicly about their shared sense of Iran as a threat, their differences on Palestinians and the role the United States plays in their chaotic region.
Prince Turki al-Faisal, Saudi Arabia’s former intelligence chief, and retired Israeli Army Maj. Gen. Yaakov Amidror, a former adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, spoke in Washington Thursday night at a discussion arranged by The Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
Former Saudi Intel Chief: Problem is ‘clouded’ U.S. policy 11:53
Their joint appearance doesn’t mean the two countries will be normalizing relations anytime soon, Turki warned.
“We are both exes,” he said, referring to their status as former officials and not current representatives of their governments. Despite that — and the fact that the Saudi kingdom has never formally acknowledged Israel’s existence — the two nations have been quietly cooperating for years, exchanging intelligence on shared threats and in particular on Iran.