Saudi Arabia says would ‘certainly’ recognize Israel if Palestinian issue resolved

Saudi Arabia's top diplomat indicated on Tuesday that Riyadh would recognize Israel if the Palestinian issue is resolved.

“We agree that regional peace includes peace for Israel, but that could only happen through peace for the Palestinians through a Palestinian state,” Prince Faisal bin Farhan told a panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Asked if Saudi Arabia would then recognize Israel as part of a wider political agreement, he said: “Certainly.”

He added securing regional peace through the creation of a Palestinian state was “something we have been indeed working on with the US administration, and it is more relevant in the context of Gaza”.

Saudi crown prince Mohammad bin Salman told Fox News in an interview aired late September that they “get closer” every day to normalization with Tel Aviv. Israeli Premiere Benjamin Netanyahu said during his UN speech last month that the regime was at the cusp of a historic normalization deal with Saudi Arabia.

However, the Israeli war on the Gaza Strip has reportedly blocked further talks.

Washington’s efforts for adding Saudi Arabia to the list of Arab countries that have signed the Abraham Accords come at a critical time when US President Joe Biden is seeking re-election and the US government has been left embarrassed by the kingdom’s bolstering of ties with Iran and Syria, and its further gravitation toward China.

The UAE, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco signed US-brokered normalization agreements with Israel in 2020, drawing condemnations from Palestinians who slammed the deals as “a stab in the back of the Palestinian cause and the Palestinian people”.

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