By Michael Hernandez
WASHINGTON (AA) - The U.S has arranged two secretive meetings between top Israeli and Emirati officials meant to build a coordinated strategy on checking Iran in the region, according to a report published Thursday.
Brian Hook, the State Department's representative for Iran, convened meetings in the spring and another more recently, according to the Wall Street Journal which could not ascertain their exact times or locations.
The existence of the meetings was known to only a few individuals, according to the anonymous officials who spoke to the newspaper.
The meetings, if confirmed, would mark an historic development between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. The countries lack official diplomatic relations and Abu Dhabi does not officially recognize the state of Israel.
Among Arab nations, to date, Israel has only diplomatic relations with Egypt and Jordan, and those ties occasionally wear thin.
The meetings between the U.A.E. and Israel were preceded by a February meeting in Warsaw organized by the U.S. meant to coordinate efforts to push back on Iran. It included dozens of states including Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Emirates.
The meeting led to "deepening cooperation" between the U.A.E. and Israel, which has been facilitated by Hook, according to the Journal.
“The Iran Action Group has been working with several countries to coordinate diplomatic, security and intelligence activities in response to Iran’s escalating aggression,“ a senior administration official told the Journal.
“These efforts have helped to pre-empt and neutralize multiple Iranian threats," the official said without naming specifics.