After Bennett's UAE Visit, Is a Regional, anti-Iran Defense Pact on the Table?

Bennett hailed 'normalization through Netflix' with the UAE, but Israel's Air Force chief hinted recently at a more strategic cooperation ■ How the new U.S. approach to the Mideast is shaking the region, from Qatar to Saudi Arabia

Amos Harel
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Amos Harel

The official communique issued at the end of Naftali Bennett’s visit to the United Arab Emirates contained few details. The prime minister reaped a windfall from the seeds sowed by his predecessor, Benjamin Netanyahu, with the aid of then-President Donald Trump. But owing to a chain of circumstances during Netanyahu’s final months in office – security tensions, the coronavirus pandemic and then a crisis with Jordan, which barred his plane from overflying the Hashemite kingdom en route to the Emirates – Netanyahu was unable to harvest the fruits of the diplomatic breakthrough with the UAE in the form of a media-hyped visit to the Persian Gulf. He had to make do with a self-leaked report about a secret visit to Saudi Arabia, which didn’t make much of an impression on Israel’s voters.

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