In the latest trove of released WikiLeaks cables, Israeli influential
daily Haaretz on Friday unearthed November 2009 complaints issued by
Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) officers to their American counterparts,
labeling then Egyptian Field Marshall Hussein Tantawi “an obstacle” in
combating Sinai arms smuggling into Gaza
Voicing their displeasure in a US-Israel strategic dialogue session, Israeli representatives also lauded then intelligence chief Omar Suleiman for his “supportive” efforts to curb weaponry trafficking. The Israeli officers present at the meeting, according to Haaretz, criticized the “lack of coordination between the Egyptian army and intelligence service on counter-smuggling efforts.”
In other WikiLeaks revelations, British daily The Guardian on Thursday exposed the positive relationship between Bahrain’s currently embattled King Hamad and US Ambassador William T. Monroe, who still holds the position, from the direct words of the Ambassador. Bahrain in February 2005, the time of the cable, was pleased with the country’s strategic alliance with then US President George W. Bush, according to Monroe. The small kingdom, now hosting widespread unrest, thought developments in Iraq and the Israeli-Palestinian arena were benefitting the region, Monroe said.
King Hamad also urged the US to step in as a “nuclear guarantor” should the diplomatic solution fail with Iran.
During a fireside chat with Monroe, the King, according to Monroe, pledged his support for the US in general and President Bush in particular, citing approval of developments in Afghanistan, as well.
King Hamad vowed to shift the government’s portrayal of Israel significantly, claiming to have instructed the state information mechanism to no longer use the term “enemy” or “Zionist entity,” in reference to Israel. The King revealed, according to the cable, an existent intelligence relationship with Israel, while pledging to improve cooperation.
King Hamad also said Israeli-Palestinian peace would facilitate regional economic development and mitigate Iran’s ability to disrupt regional accord.
With regards to the Syria-Lebanon sphere, the King, as told by Monroe and relayed by WikiLeaks and The Guardian, placed unequivocal blame on Syria for former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri’s assassination, which happened two days prior to the meeting.
The cable also reveals the King’s concerns over Saudi Arabia’s impact on cooperation among Gulf countries. King Hamad claimed the Saudis possessed ill will toward Bahrain, evidenced by the recent, at the time, suspension of certain economic deals.
Addressing internal strife in Bahrain, King Hamad said the government was encouraging Shias to participate in the 2006 elections, claiming they could change the constitution should they garner sufficient parliamentary gains.
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