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Israel reportedly aiming to sign treaty with Gulf states at White House

Non-aggression pact would be a major step towards normalisation, with Yisrael Katz looking to cement the deal under Trump's auspices
Israel's Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz speaks during the 74th session of the UN General Assembly, September 2019 (AFP)

The United States and Israel are advancing plans for an agreeement with Gulf Arab states to tackle their mutual enemy, Iran, Israel’s News 12 channel revealed.

The initiative, championed by Israel’s Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz, will see Arab Gulf states sign a non-aggression treaty and economic cooperation agreement, a major step towards normalising relations with Israel.

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that the initiative is “excellent”, News 12 reported.

Katz also said during talks with American officials that “the goal is to sign an agreement [with Gulf states] on the White House lawn, during Trump’s current administration”.

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In November 2018, Katz announced the “Peace Rails” initiative that would connect some Gulf states to the Mediterranean ports of Israel.

Katz presented the Israel-Gulf initiative to the former US envoy to the Middle East Jason Greenblatt, and according to News 12, the initiative aims at “developing friendships and cooperation ties”.

The initiative will oblige its parties to “take effective measures so that acts of wars, threats or hostility” or any incitement does not arise from signatories' territories against any of the treaty's parties.

The countries will be obliged to “refrain from joining, promoting or assisting a coalition, organisation or an alliance of military or security nature, with a third party”, News 12 reported the initiative states.

Disputes between the parties would be solved through talks and negotiations.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Oman have no formal ties with Israel and do not recognise the state. However, in recent years they have been moving closer, often citing Iran as a shared threat.

In January, the Middle East Eye learnt that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is reported to be “seriously considering” setting up a “game-changing” Camp David-style summit meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with US President Donald Trump playing host.

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