From Middle East Eye
Project would mark the latest sign of warming relations between the two historical enemies
Google is planning to deploy a fiber-optic network that will run through Saudi Arabia and Israel to open a new global internet traffic corridor, according to a US newspaper.
The network, which will connect India and Europe, would be Google’s newest cross-world infrastructure project, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the plans.
The underwater cable project has been dubbed Blue Raman by Google, which names most of its internet cables after scientists, in this case the Indian physicist Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman.
It will be more than 8,000km long and is expected to cost $400m, according to calculations by Salience Consulting, a Dubai-based communications company, cited in the WSJ report.
The move is the latest sign of warming relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia, linking for the first time the two historical enemies that have no official diplomatic relations.
Bahrain, the UAE and Sudan have already agreed to establish ties with Israel, breaking with a decades-old demand among Arab states that recognising Palestine was a necessary precursor to any deal with Israel.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu secretly flew to Saudi Arabia on Sunday to meet Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, according to Israeli media.
Sources told Haaretz that the overnight meeting took place in Neom, a flagship mega-project being built on the Red Sea, and that Mossad chief Yossi Cohen was also in attendance.
The visit marked the first known high-level meeting between an Israeli and a Saudi leader, though the two are reported to have met privately in the past....
There are some western media relaying the Saudi Foreign Ministry's denial of the meeting between MBS and Netanyahu but most of the folks in the area say it happened.