Israeli minister reveals contacts with Saudi Arabia 'to curb Iran'

Sunni Muslim powerhouse Saudi Arabia has long been at loggerheads with Shiite non Arab Iran but friction has spiralled in recent weeks

Saudi Arabia "will not hesitate to defend its national security to keep its people safe", Jubeir said in opening remarks to the Cairo meeting.

Riyadh's latest effort to ratchet up pressure against its Shiite rival comes after Houthi rebels in Yemen fired a ballistic missile at Saudi Arabia earlier in the month.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain launched a comprehensive economic boycott against their Gulf Arab neighbor Qatar in June because of its close ties to Iran.

"I trust the League's council will take on its responsibility and take a decision regarding Iranian violations of Arab security", he said ahead of Sunday's talks.

"We are ready to exchange experiences with Saudi Arabia and other moderate Arab countries and exchange intelligence to confront Iran", Eisenkot said in a rare interview with the London-based Saudi-owned newspaper, adding that "there are many shared interests between us and Saudi Arabia".

Secretary General of the Arab League Ahmed Abul Gheit said Sunday the AL Member States unanimously agreed on rejecting the Iranian approach and actions.

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"Iran's biggest arm in the region at the moment is the terrorist Hizballah arm", Sheikh Khalid charged.

He called on countries "where Hezbollah is a partner in government to carry their responsibility".

The Lebanese envoy to the Arab League, Antoine Azzam, made carefully weighed comments at the meeting that reflected his country's delicate religious and ethnic balance.

"The Lebanese Republic, in spite of our relations with it as a brotherly Arab nation.is under the total control of this terrorist party", said Khalifa, referring to the powerful Iranian-backed movement.

The ministers, according to the final statement, said they supported any action to be taken by Saudi Arabia to protect its national security, within the boundaries of worldwide legitimacy.

Last week Saudi Arabia ordered its citizens to leave Lebanon immediately, escalating a regional standoff with Iran centred on the fragile state, which it claims is being run by Tehran's proxy, Hezbollah. Alluding to the November 4 attack, he said it delivered a message to Arab nations that their capitals were within the range of Iranian missiles. "(Iran's) missile program poses a danger to the region", said Aboul-Gheit. In the absence of such support, he said, his country would have no choice but to rely on the protection of its Western allies, citing the US 5th Fleet headquartered in Bahrain and naval ships patrolling the Persian gulf.

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