“During the administration of President George W. Bush, Israeli officials visiting Washington would hold secret hotel room meetings with the UAE’s influential ambassador to the United States, Yousef al-Otaiba, according to Dan Shapiro, who would later become a U.S. ambassador to Israel. Shapiro served on President Barack Obama’s National Security Council and said the White House at that time was kept informed of the meetings.

“In early 2010, the contacts came to halt when the UAE accused Israel of assassinating Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, a leader of the militant Palestinian group Hamas, in a hotel room in Dubai, the UAE’s largest city. Emirati Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan cut off most contacts until he was reassured that such a killing wouldn’t happen again and Israel agreed to sell the UAE weapons technology that it had been holding back, Shapiro said.

“The Washington contacts resumed, and around 2011 the parties would sometimes allow a White House official to sit in, particularly when discussing the growing threat from Iran. ‘That was a noteworthy moment, that they were willing to be that open, even with us, about how far they had gotten together,’ Shapiro said…”

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