In what appears to be a new era in relations between Israel and its Arab neighbors, a former Saudi military general visited Israel recently and met with senior Israeli officials.

Another sign of the warming relations between Israel and the surrounding Arab countries? Former Saudi general Anwar Eshki visited Jerusalem last week and met with Israeli officials, including Foreign Ministry Director General Dore Gold.

The meeting marks a rare public engagement between countries that have no official relations.

Eshki also reportedly met with Members of Knesset from several political parties.

He currently heads a Saudi think tank in Jeddah but is believed to have close ties with the kingdom’s rulers. Official government permission was likely necessary for him to make such an overt visit.

He has met with Israelis in the past and has given interviews to the Israeli media.

Saudi Arabia has floated a plan for a comprehensive peace agreement between Israel and its Arab neighbors.

It has unofficially grown closer to Israel in recent years over their shared concerns regarding Iran’s nuclear program, its growing influence in the Middle East and the advent of Islamic terror.

Over the past months there have been several reports of secret ties between Israel and several Sunni Muslim countries in the Gulf, and chiefly Saudi Arabia, which leads them.

By: AP and United with Israel Staff