US planning normalization "road map" for Saudi Arabia, "Israel": Axios
Informed US sources say Biden plans to discuss a security vision between the US, the Israeli occupation, and several Arab states.
The White House has been working on a “road map for normalization” between Saudi Arabia and the Israeli occupation ahead of US President Joe Biden’s visit to West sia in July, four informed US sources told Axios.
The report cited the sources as saying that "The White House last week held a briefing with think tank experts about Biden’s trip to the region and floated the theme of a 'road map for normalization' without elaborating."
The sources said that the White House claimed there will not be a normalization agreement before the US President's visit to West Asia, but pointed out that the US administration is preparing for the agreement and Biden will discuss it with the Saudis and the Israelis during his tour.
A different informed source said that the White House believes that any road map for normalization will be a long-term process, while another source described the strategy as a step-by-step approach.
US mediating normalization-leading agreements
Axios quoted a White House National Security Council spokesperson as saying that they "support broadening and deepening Arab-Israeli ties."
The website cited a senior Israeli official as revealing that an agreement to allow Israeli airlines to use Saudi airspace for flights to India and China is very close.
Earlier this year, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman said that “We do not view Israel as an enemy, but rather as a potential ally in the many interests that we can pursue together, but some issues must be resolved before we can reach that."
Axios reported that US President Joe Biden's administration "has been quietly mediating among Saudi Arabia, Israel and Egypt on a potential deal to finalize the transfer of two strategic islands in the Red Sea from Egypt to Saudi Arabia."
"If successful, the mediation efforts could lead to separate normalization steps," Axios said.
Five Israeli sources told Axios that a predeterminant for the coming normalization process is the transfer of authority of the strategic Tiran and Sanafir islands from Egypt to Saudi Arabia.
The islands hold significant strategic importance, as they engulf the passage into the Red Sea, up to "Eilat," "Israel's" bound-to-boom economic and trade hub, in addition to the port of Aqaba in Jordan.
Initiative between "Israel", the US, & some Arab states
The four informed US sources also told Axios that during his trip, Biden plans to discuss a vision for “integrated missile defense and naval defense” between the US, the Israeli occupation, and several Arab states, including Saudi Arabia.
It is noteworthy that during a hearing of the foreign relations and security committee in the Knesset on Monday, Israeli Security Minister Benny Gantz revealed that the US and "Israel" are working on an initiative called “The Middle East Air Defense," which Biden's visit to the region will boost.
According to Gantz, the so-called initiative will see the US, "Israel", and some other countries in the region working to counter drone, rocket, and cruise missile attacks by Tehran and its allies.
"A very big thing"
Israeli media outlets pointed out that Israeli occupation Prime Minister Naftali Bennett proposed the initiative during his visits to the Gulf states, aiming to establish a Gulf version of NATO, of which "Israel" would be a part.
Tal Kalman, Head of Military Strategies in the Israeli occupation forces, previously revealed in an interview for Al-Ayam newspaper about a possible establishment of an alliance similar to the NATO that would include “Israel", Bahrain, the UAE, Jordan, Egypt, Greece, and several other countries.
Israeli military affairs analyst Roi Sharon said that a report on the Saudi Elaph website revealed that Israeli Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi met with the Qatari chief of staff, saying that if Qatar joins this alliance and the matter turns public, "this will be a very big thing."