Riyadh (MEMO) – An American diplomat said that appointing Mohammed Bin Salman as crown prince of Saudi Arabia was like a “dream come true for Israel”, Haaretz reported.
The former US Ambassador to Israel, Daniel Shapiro, said that the appointment of Bin Salman opens an unprecedented opportunity for Israel to improve its regional position and supports it in facing its strategic and security challenges.
Shapiro restated the fact that Bin Salman sees a link between Saudi Arabia and Israel’s interests and threats which will allow Tel Aviv to benefit.
Bin Salman’s hatred of groups, specifically the Muslim Brotherhood, and his efforts to confront Iran led him to certain regional alliances, the former US envoy said. It is for this reason that Bin Salman has built strong relations with both the UAE and Egypt.
“This development could lead to the formation of an axis that includes the United States, the Sunni Arab states and Israel since they share common strategic interests and are prepared to confront extremist forces in the region,” he added.
Shapiro, who has also served as an adviser to President Barack Obama on Gulf affairs, urged both Riyadh and Tel Aviv to “use a wise diplomacy in order to achieve greater returns regarding the relationship between the two sides and reduce the damage that could result from the political reality in the region.”
Bin Salman will be ready for a complete normalization with Israel within the framework of the implementation of the Arab Initiative, Shapiro explained.
Former Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Nayef “is known for being a reliable and trusted partner of the United States in its war on terror,” Shapiro explained, adding that his problem is that he is “a hesitant conservative who cannot adopt real social and economic reforms.”
Saudi should however be careful and not allow the new crown prince to drag it into unnecessary regional conflicts. Shapiro warned that the policies of Bin Salman may harm “American interests”, saying that the escalation of the crisis with Qatar “has already caused damage to Washington”.
It is for this reason, Shapiro said, that the US may issue a strong warning to Bin Salman to stop him from taking steps that “harm the interests of the United States”.
This post originally ran on Middle East Monitor.
Also published on Medium.