A Wall Street Journal report suggested on Sunday that the US held a secret meeting of top military officials from Israel and Arab states in March to discuss coordinating efforts against Iran.
According to the report, the meeting brought together the top military officers from Israel, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Egypt and Jordan and came as Israel and its neighbors are in the early stage of discussing potential military cooperation. The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain also sent officers to the meeting.
The U.S. was represented by Gen. Frank McKenzie, then the head of the U.S. Central Command, and IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi, his Saudi Arabian counterpart Fayyad bin Hamed Al-Ruwaili, and other top military officials were also in attendance.
In a statement, Col. Joe Buccino, a Central Command spokesman, didn’t acknowledge the Sharm El Sheikh meeting but said the command “maintains a firm commitment to increasing regional cooperation and developing integrated air and missile defense architecture to protect our force and our regional partners.” Iran “is the primary destabilizing factor across the Middle East,” he added.
As it stands, this co-operation has most likely sprouted from the success of the Abraham records as well as the Arab countries’ desire for access to Israeli air defense technology and weapons.