News24

Saudi denies fly-through claim

2009-07-06 20:08

Riyadh - Saudi Arabia denied on Monday a report that it has agreed to allow Israeli warplanes to fly through the kingdom's airspace to attack Iran's nuclear sites.

"Of course this is not true. We don't have any kind of relationship with the Israelis," Osama Nugali, spokesperson for the Saudi foreign ministry, told AFP.

Britain's Sunday Times reported that the head of Israel's Mossad intelligence service had held secret talks with Saudi officials to discuss the possibility of Israeli jets flying over Saudi Arabia for such an attack.

"The Saudis have tacitly agreed to the Israeli air force flying through their airspace on a mission which is supposed to be in the common interests of Israel and Saudi Arabia," the newspaper quoted a diplomatic source as saying.

Nugali rejected the claim of any talks having taken place, stressing that the two countries have no diplomatic, commercial or other relations.

He said occasional reports of a secret relationship are aimed at fraying Arab unity.

"Our policy is very transparent and our position is very firm regarding any kind of relation with Israel," Nugali said. "Fortunately, these continuous allegations are not taken seriously."

On Sunday, the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also denied the report, calling it "fundamentally wrong and baseless".

SAPA