A Lebanese-American businessman, who is co-operating with special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Donald Trump's campaign funding, organized a secret meeting with several Arab leaders in 2015, to establish a new entity in the region that would be replacing the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the Arab League, in an effort to counter the Turkish and Iranian influence in the region.
This is according to a report published by the London-based Middle East Eye (MEE) on Monday. It says businessman George Nader convened the Arab leaders, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who was then deputy crown prince of Saudi Arabia; Mohammed bin Zayed, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi; Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, the president of Egypt; Prince Salman, the crown prince of Bahrain; and King Abdullah of Jordan onto a yacht in Red Sea in late 2015.
The exclusive information reported by MEE claims that Nader offered the group of leaders to establish the elite entity in the region which "the U.S. government could depend on" countering the influence of Turkey and Iran, according to two sources briefed on the meeting.
The six states, plus Libya which was reportedly not present at the summit, would be the central mechanisms of "pro-U.S. and pro-Israeli states."
Allegedly, two sources who spoke to MME said that Lebanese-American businessman told the leaders that if they agreed, then he could lobby for the idea in Washington. The MEE sources said that the leaders present at the meeting liked the idea, the report said.
Nader was convicted by Prague's Municipal Court of 10 cases of sexually abusing minors and sentenced to a one-year prison term in May 2003, for crimes occurred between 1999 and 2002.
His legal problems in Prague appear unrelated to his role in Mueller's probe in the United States. But they contribute to the portrait of a man who has led a shadowy existence as a go-between across numerous Middle East capitals and who gave testimony to Mueller's Washington grand jury earlier this month.
He had worked in recent times as an adviser to bin Zayed, one of the most powerful men in the Middle East, according to people who know Nader. The questioning of Nader in the Mueller probe suggests possible interest in United Arab Emirates relations with the Trump's transition team or his administration.