ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, Jan. 27 (UPI) — The United Arab Emirates, an economic giant and rising military power in the Persian Gulf, is reported to have discreet ties with private security companies in Israel to protect its oil fields and borders.
The Intelligence Online Web site reports that the country’s Critical National Infrastructure Authority has had business dealings with several Israeli firms since it was established in 2007, even though the emirates has no diplomatic relations with the Jewish state.
“Trade between the two countries, principally in the area of security, amounted to nearly $300 million last year,” Intelligence Online reported Jan. 12.
CNIA is based in Abu Dhabi, the main oil-rich emirate in the federation. It’s the capital of the United Arab Emirates and handles the federation’s military and security affairs.
“The Israeli businessman most active in Abu Dhabi is Mati Kochavi, owner of the Swiss-registered company AGT, which sold the emirates surveillance cameras, electronic fences and sensors to monitor strategic infrastructure and oil fields.”
That contract was reportedly worth $800 million.
But these ties may be threatened because of a dispute between Abu Dhabi and Israel’s Aeronautics Defense Systems, founded in 1997 and which has been involved in several international arms scandals in recent years.
This centers on a 2011 deal between CNIA and ADS under which the Israeli outfit would sell the infrastructure authority combat-capable unmanned aerial vehicles like those used against Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip.
But the deal turned sour when it was found that ADS had failed to secure approval from the Israeli Defense Ministry’s military sales division, known as SIBAT, to export the UAVs to an Arab state. The dispute has “infuriated the emirate, which had paid a $70 million advance on the contract,” Intelligence Online reported. ( read HERE)