Israel’s newfound momentum in thawing frosty relations with the Arab world continued this week in Warsaw. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held talks with senior officials (including foreign ministers) from Gulf Arab states during the conference where talks focused on countering Iran. This followed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s landmark Oman visit in October and the planned formation of an East Med Gas Forum comprising Israel, Egypt, Palestine, Jordan, Cyprus, Greece and Italy during talks in Cairo last month.

Israel’s energy minister Yuval Steinitz told the Financial Times this week that foreign firms no longer risk being blackballed by Arab states for dealing with the country. Mr Steinitz added that in recent years he has met many Gulf energy ministers, a statement that will undoubtedly rest uneasily in neighboring Lebanon – notable in its absence from the planned regional forum. (CONTINUED - 140 WORDS)