Mossad chief Yossi Cohen on Sunday expressed hope that more countries in the region will establish official ties with Israel.
In an exclusive interview on Kan 11 News, Cohen said that "we are in touch with many countries in the region and beyond, in the Middle East and Africa of course. I very much hope that these efforts, like those that have come to fruition so far, will also bear fruit."
Asked about Saudi Arabia tying the issue of normalization with Israel with the issue of Israeli negotiations with the Palestinians, Cohen replied, "This should be neither an obstacle nor, in my view, a condition for continued contacts toward creating bilateral ties between us and the countries of the region."
Asked if more countries will announce peace agreements with Israel soon, Cohen said, "First of all, I very much hope so. The process of maturation [of such an agreement] is a long one. Perhaps this is another opportunity to tell that to all the people, both in my organization and in other places, who work day and night on this slow, very orderly process of bilateral relations between countries from the Middle East and also countries in Africa."
Sudan for example?
"It could be. We are in contact with anyone who is, of course, willing to talk to us. This is a different period for me - historical agreements that have strategic significance for the strategic depth of the State of Israel at all levels: security, intelligence, economic, agricultural, and so on and so forth. There are lots of things we can do with those countries. Some of these agreements have already been signed. From now on I think the State of Israel is going in the right direction.”
"This is also an opportunity to thank everyone who deals with this issue, including the National Security Council, the Prime Minister's Office, the Prime Minister, the President of the United States. Many good people have been working on this issue behind the scenes for many years, and here this thing is taking shape, and is maturing into important agreements that have just been ratified by both the Israeli government and the Knesset. There is a new atmosphere that gives the State of Israel some strategic horizon of a different model that we did not previously know."
"We are opening new horizons at both the economic and security levels. Horizons are also opening in the form of cooperation at all levels. It gives us a very important strategic and dominant depth of depth against the axes of evil, especially those directed by Iran - nuclear, terrorism, regional expansion.”
"This also sends a message to the axis of evil, by those countries, and of course by us as the State of Israel, to come and say: We are on the right side, you are on the wrong side. There is of course more room for improvement for us."