JERUSALEM (Reuters) - An Israeli cabinet minister said on Sunday that Israel has had covert contacts with Saudi Arabia amid common concerns over Iran, a first disclosure by a senior Israeli official of such contacts.
In an interview on Army Radio, Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz was asked why Israel was hiding its ties with Saudi Arabia.
Steinitz replied: "We have ties that are indeed partly covert with many Muslim and Arab countries, and usually (we are) the party that is not ashamed.
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"It's the other side that is interested in keeping the ties quiet. With us, usually, there is no problem, but we respect the other side's wish, when ties are developing, whether it's with Saudi Arabia or with other Arab countries or other Muslim countries, and there is much more ... (but) we keep it secret."
(Writing by Ori Lewis; Editing by Kevin Liffey)