Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal Bin Farhan Al-Saud said on this Thursday that there will be no normalization of relations with Israel if there is no Palestinian state.
In an interview with Bloomberg TV held on Thursday, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal Bin Farhan Al-Saud announced that his country will not take any steps towards normalization of ties with Israel unless Israel recognizes the state of Palestine. “We have said consistently that we believe normalization with Israel is something that is very much in the interest of the region,” Prince Faisal said on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos.
He also asserted that “an agreement to create a Palestinian state would be a precondition to establishing formal diplomatic ties with Israel because true normalization and true stability will only come through giving the Palestinians hope, through giving the Palestinians dignity, and through a Palestinian state.”
With the help of the United States under the Trump administration, Israel could normalize its relations with the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Morocco back in 2020. The deal, known as the Abraham Accords, was signed in a bid to normalize diplomatic relations, establish economic agreements and support social exchanges. Ever since, Israel hopes that it can extend the Abraham Accords to include other Persian Gulf countries, including of course, Saudi Arabia.
To do this, Israeli officials, particularly Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, have been working hard to forge official ties with the Kingdom and much effort is also on the way. Just as an example, Netanyahu said this Thursday during a meeting with White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan that he had discussed prospects for a diplomatic breakthrough between Israel and Saudi Arabia with the help of Washington.
No hope for materialization of what Saudi Arabia wants from Israel
Israelis and Palestinians have clashed over claims to the Holy Land for decades, a conflict that has long been one of the world’s most intractable. Israel disrupted and unilaterally ended the US-brokered peace talks in 2014, which was aimed at establishing a Palestinian state.
At the time, then-Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, accused the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, of forming an alliance with Hamas, which he called “a terrorist organization that calls for the destruction of Israel.”
Israel’s withdrawal from the peace talks was a response to an announcement of a unity agreement between Abbas’ Fatah movement – the dominant group in the PLO and which governs parts of the West Bank – and Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip.
The prospects for an agreement on the Palestinian state issue look even less promising as Netanyahu’s new government includes partners who oppose Palestinian statehood altogether and want the expansion of Israel’s West Bank settlements.
Palestinian Authority hailed Saudi stance on normalization with Israel
The Palestinian Authority (PA) issued a statement on this Friday and welcomed the stance of Saudi Arabia on the normalization of ties with Israel.
“The stance of Saudi Arabia reflects a real support for the Palestinians and their cause, as well as a real support for the rights of Palestinians at all international platforms. This is a real support for the Palestinians and their cause,” the statemen read.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority also demanded the Saudi “full support” for the right of Palestinians to self-determination and the creation of their free state with East Jerusalem as its capital based on international resolutions issued by the United Nations Security Council.