A top Israeli official wants to forge closer ties with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Yisrael Katz, the Israeli minister for intelligence and transportation, hopes Saudi Arabia's King Salman will invite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Riyadh.Speaking on Thursday at the Herzliya conference, the minister also urged the Saudi King to dispatch newly minted Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to Israel.

Iran's nuclear ambitions

The Israeli minister talked about Iran, hinting that the two countries could cooperate in dealing with the perceived threat posed by Tehran.

Western powers and neighboring countries believe that Iran is building advanced nuclear weapons-related capabilities. If successful, these advancements could significantly reduce the time Iran needs to come up with a nuclear weapon that can be successfully delivered.

Recently, the boss of Iran's nuclear program claimed that his country was now capable of manufacturing advanced nuclear centrifuges. If his boast is true, it means that Iran can more rapidly enrich Uranium. Uranium is the core component in nuclear weapons. Iran is prohibited from working on such programs. Its continued insistence on developing its nuclear capabilities could be in violation relevant clauses of terms of a nuclear pact it signed blocking it from engaging in such activities for a decade.

American President Donald Trump's government has been urged to tighten its enforcement of the Iran nuclear accord. International nuclear experts are also being pressured to demand wider access to Iran's nuclear program sites.

Regional cooperation

Apart from dealing with the Iran menace, Israeli officials also want the two countries to establish diplomatic and economic ties.

Avigdor Lieberman, Israel's defense minister, called for a peace deal to be ratified by moderate Sunni Arab states. According to the minister, this deal needs to be reached before Israel could sign a peace agreement with the Palestinians.

Lieberman voiced his opinion that a regional peace agreement is the only way forward for peaceful co-existent in the region.

Palestinian officials have however doubted that such an arrangement is feasible.

Mustafa Barghouti, the head of the Palestinian National Initiative, stated that countries such as Saudi Arabia would accept to normalize their relations with Israel. Speaking to Al Jazeera, Barghouti said that with Israel occupying the Aqsa Mosque Jerusalem, the chances of having normal relations with Saudi Arabia remain virtually nil. The Aqsa Mosque is one of the most important religious sites for Muslims.