| 10 December 2023, Sunday |

Ahead of Riyadh visit, Blinken says US will work towards Saudi-Israel normalization

On Monday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated that the United States is actively working towards the normalization of relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia. He emphasized that this objective aligns with US national security interests.
“The US has a real national security interest in promoting normalization between Israel and Saudi Arabia. We believe we can and indeed we must play an integral role in advancing it,” Blinken said ahead of departing for his trip to Saudi Arabia.

He added: “We have no illusions that this can be done quickly or easily, but we remain committed to working towards that outcome, including on the trip I’m about to take this week to Jeddah and Riyadh for engagements with our Saudi and Gulf counterparts.”

The State department said on June 6-8, Blinken will meet with Saudi officials to discuss US-Saudi strategic cooperation on regional and global issues and a range of bilateral issues including economic and security cooperation.

Blinken said: “The US is advancing Israel’s security and our own in another critical way, by working to deepen Israel’s relationships with its neighbors to advance our goal of regional integration and de-escalation.”

Israel, since the signing of the US-sponsored Abraham Accords normalizing ties with UAE, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco, has continued to seek expanding the initiative to additional countries. Israeli top brass has repeatedly stressed that establishing ties with Saudi Arabia would be the ultimate achievement and would be pivotal to establishing peace in the region.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia has repeatedly stated that any kind of peace accord or deal to normalize ties with Israel would be preconditioned on the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.

In April, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that normalization of ties with Saudi Arabia would serve as a “giant leap” towards ending the Arab-Israeli conflict.

  • alarabiya