Saudi leader MBS seemingly open to discussing normalizing relations with Israel, but has conditions: report
MBSwas seemingly open to discussing normalizing ties with Israel, per an Axios report.
- National security advisor
Jake Sullivanmet with MBS in late September in Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman did not completely reject the idea of his country normalizing ties with Israel when President Joe Biden's national security advisor Jake Sullivan brought up the issue during a late September visit in Saudi Arabia, Axios reported on Wednesday, citing three US and Arab sources.
The Saudi leader told Sullivan that establishing full diplomatic ties with Israel would take time and a number of steps would need to be taken first, according to the report, including improvements in relations between Washington and Riyadh. The Saudi government would also likely push for a shift in the Israeli government's policy toward Palestinians as part of any deal, the report said.
The White House did not offer a comment when contacted by Insider.
The brutal murder of Saudi reporter Jamal Khashoggi in October 2018 led to a historic rift in US-Saudi relations. Many top members of Congress have since pushed for the US to fundamentally alter its dynamic with and support for Riyadh, particularly when it comes to the devastating Yemen conflict.
While the Trump administration rejected efforts to reprimand the Saudis over Khashoggi's killing, Biden has vowed to reassess the relationship. Biden, for example, does not engage directly with Crown Prince Mohammed, the de facto ruler of the kingdom. Earlier this year, the Biden administration also released a declassified intelligence assessment that explicitly implicated Crown Prince Mohammed in Khashoggi's murder. That said, Biden faced criticism for not sanctioning the Saudi leader following the release of the assessment.
The Saudi government is among the most powerful entities in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia officially recognizing Israel would be a major step forward in Arab-Israeli relations. There's been significant movement on that front over the past year or so. In September 2020, the UAE and Bahrain formalized diplomatic ties with Israel via the landmark Abraham Accords. Two more Arab countries, Morocco and Sudan, joined the Abraham Accords not long after.
There are now six Arab nations, including Egypt and Jordan, that have full diplomatic relations with Israel.
- Gautam Adani, the man who may soon be Asia's richest person, is a college dropout who survived the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks and says he was once kidnapped for ransom
- EY is offering scholarships to Indian college students worth ₹1 lakh with two months’ internship opportunity
- A man had severe, day-long migraines for 12 years and nothing worked. His doctors say they vanished after they prescribed leafy greens and cutting out red meat.
- Centre raises Bengal labour budget for creation of 27 cr man-days
- Over a million Ethereum tokens have been burned since the big upgrade, but transaction costs are still a pain point for the network
- Loaded Lion NFT sells for $1 million — three days after launching at $200
- McDonalds India launches a contemporary rendition and continuation story of memorable campaign ‘Hum dono boyfriend-girlfriend hai kya’
- India to resume scheduled international flights from December 15, says Aviation Ministry