|A well-connected retired Saudi General Anwar Eshki visited the Zionist entity this week and met with Israeli officials, in the latest indication of a growing link between Tel Aviv and Riyadh which has come to light in recent months.
Eshki, who headed a delegation of Saudi academics and business people, met with Foreign Ministry Director-General Dore Gold and Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Maj.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai and with a group of Knesset members, the daily Ha’aretz reported.
The daily called the visit “a highly unusual one” as Eshki couldn’t have traveled to ‘Israel’ without approval from the Saudi government.
Eshki and Gold raised an uproar first in June 2015 when they held a publicized joint event in Washington, after meeting privately several times over the preceding year. Gold attended the event a few days before assuming the role of director general of the Israeli foreign ministry.
Israeli legislator Esawi Freige, who organized Eshki’s meeting with his fellow members of Knesset, shed some light on the trip. “The Saudis want to open up to Israel,” he said.
“This is a strategic step for them. They said they want to continue what former Egyptian President Anwar Sadat started. They want to get closer to Israel. This is clearly evident,” Fregie noted.
He was referring to the former Egyptian president’s negotiations with ‘Israel’, which culminated in the Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty in 1979 – the first between an Arab state and Tel Aviv at the time.