Putting the normalization efforts on hold, Saudi Arabia engages with Tehran in an effort to deescalate the deadly conflict in Palestine.
Plans to normalize relations between Israel and the United States are being put on hold by Riyadh. According to two sources acquainted with Riyadh’s policies, the new approach has already been implemented. As the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian organization Hamas worsens, it suggests a swift reevaluation of Saudi Arabia foreign policies commitments.
The kingdom’s engagement with Tehran has also been prompted by the crisis. As Riyadh strives to stop a broader increase in bloodshed across the Middle East, the Iranian President called the Saudi Crown Prince, the de-facto counterpart for the first time.
The talks on normalization with Israel, which are supported by the US, will be delayed, according to the two sources. It was intended to be a crucial step in the Saudi quest to win the US defense deal, which Riyadh views as the ultimate prize.
Prior to the October 7 on which Hamas launched a catastrophic strike on Israel setting off a full-fledgehd conflict, Saudi and Israeli officials claimed that negotiations for a solution that would have altered the region were ongoing.
Even if Tel Aviv did not make major compromises to the Palestinians in their quest for statehood, Riyadh had formerly stated it would not permit the implementation of a US defense pact to be disrupted until the most recent conflict. Saudi Arabia is where Islam was created and where its two holiest sites are located in.
However, a strategy that marginalized Palestinians ran the risk of upsetting Arabs in the neighborhood when Arab news agencies showed footage of Palestinians murdered in Israeli airstrikes in retaliation.
In their strike on October 7, Hamas claimed more over 1,300 Israeli lives. Over 1,952 Palestinian citizen, have also been murdered by Friday as a result of Israel’s ongoing airstrikes on Gaza.
Normalization on Hold
Reports indicate that more talks were not possible at this time. When the talks restart, the subject of Israeli accommodations for the Palestinians will need to take a higher priority. The remark suggests that Riyadh hasn’t given up on the concept.
Requests for response from the medial were unanswered by the Saudi authorities. The Saudi reassessment shows difficulties Washington has in trying to further integrate Israel in an area in which the Palestine issue is still a top Arab priority.
Washington seeks to expand on the Abraham Accords, which normalized relations of Israel with certain Gulf countries, particularly the UAE.
During a White House meeting few days ago, US National Security Advisor stated that the normalization process was “not on hold”. However, Jake Sullivan explained that more pressing issues were taking priority.
According to a person with knowledge of Saudi Arabia, the US pressured Bin Salman this week to denounce the Hamas strike. Prince Faisal bin Farhan, the Saudi Arabian minister of foreign affairs, disagreed. This has been verified by a US source with knowledge of the matter.
The Saudi crown prince and the president of Iran have both spoken publicly in an unprecedented move as a result of the regional turmoil. This comes after the two sides restored diplomatic relations earlier this year as a result of a Chinese-mediated initiative.
According to a Saudi declaration, the Saudi crown prince assured Raisi that “the kingdom is exerting maximum effort to engage with all international and regional parties to halt the ongoing escalation”. The reported underscores Riyadh’s desire to manage the conflict in cooperation with Tehran.