Saudi Arabia Suspends Talks on Normalizing Israel Ties
- September, 18, 2023 - 12:07
- World news
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Saudi Arabia has informed the United States of its decision to suspend negotiations on normalizing ties with Israel.
This move is attributed to the far-right Israeli cabinet's refusal to make concessions to the Palestinians.
According to reports, Riyadh's stance, characterized by the "extremist" nature of the Israeli government led by prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, was conveyed to Tel Aviv via Washington. This stance is seen as obstructing any potential reconciliation with the Palestinians and, consequently, with Saudi Arabia.
Israeli officials expressed confusion regarding this decision, as they believed that Saudi Arabia would proceed with normalizing relations with Israel independently of the Palestinian issue.
The report highlights that the Saudis were disheartened after Netanyahu accepted the demands of hawkish Israeli ministers Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich, who advocated for no concessions to Palestinians. Therefore, without progress in Palestinian relations, Saudi-Israeli normalization appears unlikely.
US President Joe Biden suggested the possibility of a deal for Israel and Saudi Arabia to normalize relations after National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan's talks with Saudi officials in Jeddah.
To sign a deal with Israel, Riyadh publicly called on Tel Aviv to implement the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, which prioritizes establishing a Palestinian state. However, the far-right Israeli regime, led by Netanyahu, has refused to make any concessions to the Palestinians as part of a potential normalization agreement with Saudi Arabia.
US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken emphasized that Saudi Arabia has indicated to the Biden administration that resolving Palestinian issues is crucial for any normalization deal with Israel.
Additionally, US officials reveal that Saudi Arabia privately seeks US guarantees for its security in case of an attack, access to civilian nuclear technology, and advanced US weapons systems.
These developments come as the Biden administration seeks to add Saudi Arabia to the list of Arab countries that signed the Abraham Accords, at a time when Biden is up for re-election. Meanwhile, the US government has been concerned about Saudi Arabia strengthening its ties with Iran and Syria, and its growing alignment with China.