Saturday, April 20, 2024

Expert: Saudi Arabia on normalization path with Israel

The Saudi crown prince has stepped up his diplomatic efforts to break the mould and mark the fifth anniversary of his designation to the post by normalization of relations with Israel and a thaw in ties with the United States, a political analyst says.

Veteran former Iranian diplomat Sabah Zanganeh in an interview with ILNA news agency said, Saudi de factor ruler Mohammed bin Salman, also known as MBS, is looking for backchannels through Turkey, Egypt and Jordan to establish open ties with Tel Aviv.

He said Riyadh is using its clout over the trio, which have official diplomatic relations with Israel and need Saudi investment, for a rapprochement with Tel Aviv.

The Saudi crown prince was welcomed as a head of state during his visit to Turkey and Jordan on Wednesday and in Egypt a day earlier.

Zanganeh said the whirlwind regional tour shows bin Salman is preparing for an upcoming regional trip by US President Joe Biden.

Ties between Washington and Riyadh soured after Biden, who had vowed as a presidential candidate to make Saudi Arabia a “pariah”, came to power.

However, he is under heavy criticism for his about-face by ignoring the Saudi human rights record, the brutal assassination of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and the Saudi-led devastating war on Yemen.

According to reports, the Biden administration is currently working on a “normalization roadmap” between Saudi Arabia and Israel before the US president’s trip slated for mid-July.

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