Israel asks US for ‘qualitative military edge’ to be maintained

Middle East Monitor  /  August 31, 2023

As Saudi Arabia is asking for the green light from the US to develop a civilian nuclear program, Israel has asked Washington to let it maintain its “qualitative military edge” in the Middle East, Israeli media reported on Wednesday.

Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant apparently asked White House National Security Council Coordinator for the Middle East Brett McGurk for clarification regarding a possible Saudi nuclear program. Such a program is said to be part of the conditions set out by the kingdom for normalizing relations with Israel.

According to Israeli Army Radio, Gallant presented White House officials with a list of Israeli concerns over such efforts, based on assessments provided to him by security officials ahead of his trip to the US.

In an official statement issued by his office, Gallant “emphasized the importance of security arrangements” in expanding ties with regional neighbours. He also stressed the “importance of preserving Israel’s qualitative military edge” in the region.