July 11, 2019

Move over, Bahrain? Iraq signals interest in better ties with Israel

Featuring Ilan Goldenberg

Source: The Times of Israel

Journalist Raphael Ahren

That Israel and the Sunni-Arab Gulf states cooperate closely is the Middle East’s worst-kept secret. Despite the absence of formal diplomatic relations, everybody knows Jerusalem has clandestine yet robust ties with Riyadh, Abu Dhabi, Manama and other capitals in the region, due to shared concerns about an increasingly belligerent Iran.

The most striking indication of this Arab-Israel detente was the US-led economic workshop last month in Bahrain, during which the kingdom’s foreign minister declared that his government views Israel as an integral part of the Middle East and desires closer ties with it.

Less known is the Jewish state’s effort to improve relations with Iraq. A few days ago, Baghdad’s US envoy appeared to reciprocate Israel’s continual overtures, speaking openly about the potential benefits of establishing ties with the Jewish state, though the country’s Foreign Ministry quickly disavowed his comments.

Read the full article and more in The Times of Israel.


  • Ilan Goldenberg

    Former Senior Fellow and Director, Middle East Security Program

    Ilan Goldenberg is the former Senior Fellow and Director of the Middle East Security Program at the Center for a New American Security. He is a foreign policy and defense expe...