Riyadh is under pressure from the US administration and the United Arab Emirates to normalize its relations with Israel, similar to Abu Dhabi and Bahrain.
Saudi Foreign Minister .. Normalization is inevitable
The Saudi Foreign Minister, Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, said in an interview with the “Washington Institute for Near East Studies,” broadcast on the evening of October 15, that normalization with Israel “will happen eventually.”
This is the second statement issued by senior Saudi officials within two years, as the Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, previously said in statements to a magazine:The Atlantic“The American people, the people of Israel have the right to live on their land in peace, in 2018.
The foreign minister added that “peace is a strategic necessity for the region, and normalization with Israel in the end is part of that.”
But Ben Farhan linked normalization to “obtaining a Palestinian state and a peace plan between the Palestinians and Israel.”
The Saudi Foreign Minister’s statements come two weeks after the former Saudi ambassador to the United States, Bandar bin Sultan, spoke in an interview with the Saudi “Al-Arabiya” channel last August, in which he called for normalization as well.
Bin Sultan is considered one of the most prominent faces of Saudi diplomacy during the past two decades. In his interview, which was broadcast in three parts, he said that the Palestinian leaderships are “difficult to trust,” considering that his country “does not accept liars and cheaters who impose their method on them.
Bin Sultan also considered that normalization with Israel is “inevitable,” which required a response from the chief Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat, on October 8.
Erekat said in a tweet on Twitter, “Those who want the Arabs to present the credentials to Washington or want to pave the way for normalization with Israel do so without defaming the Palestinian people.”
The Saudi signals did not stop at current or retired politicians, as Arab activists circulated excerpts from the Friday sermon of the Grand Mosque’s Imam, Abd al-Rahman al-Sudais, on September 4, while he was talking about the good treatment of Islam with the Jews, and they questioned the purpose of his reference, and they republished clips showing an opinion Al-Sudais in normalization and the Palestinian issue before the era of Mohammed bin Salman.
His words were considered by some activists as a prelude to the “normalization” of relations with Israel, in light of the American administration’s efforts to persuade the Gulf Cooperation Council countries to take this step.
And US President Donald Trump had previously expected that Saudi Arabia would follow the example of the UAE and Bahrain, which announced the normalization of their relationship with Israel last August.
Trump said, in a press conference at the White House on August 20, that he “believes that Saudi Arabia will join the peace agreement between the UAE and Israel,” without announcing any details related to talks or steps that the two sides have implemented in this regard.
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