Jerusalem24 – The Saudi Arabian government is putting heavy pressure on the United Arab Emirates to cancel the solar power for water deal signed by Israel and Jordan in Dubai, Israeli media reported Wednesday.
The initiative will see a solar plant constructed in Jordan, with assistance from the UAE, as well as a water desalination plant in Israel.
The Israeli news website, Walla, reported that Israeli officials said that Saudi officials were surprised when the deal was announced. Stating that they were not updated by them in advance on the matter.
The report said that last weekend, Saudi government officials reportedly called their peers in Abu Dhabi demanding clarification. They also pressed the Emiratis to withdraw from the deal. Instead, they offered a new deal, one that would have Saudi Arabia replacing Israel in the project.
The Emirates did not want to cancel the agreement, but sought to change the wording of the deal to appear less binding. Israeli officials told Walla Israel did not object because the changes did not change the agreement.
Israel’s Energy Minister Karin Elharrar declined to comment when asked by Walla, but did not deny it. UAE officials also declined to comment.