Saudi Arabia’s quest for normalizing relations with Israel has been a subject of global interest, especially after the Abraham Accords paved the way for several Arab nations to establish diplomatic ties with Israel. A recent report by Axios, an American digital media company, has reignited discussions on this topic, revealing that Saudi Arabia remains steadfast in its pursuit of normalization.
According to Axios, a delegation from the US Congress visited Saudi Arabia amidst the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas. The delegation met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is often considered the de facto leader of the Kingdom. This meeting took place just 10 days ago, indicating the urgency and importance attached to the dialogue.
An informed source in Saudi Arabia conveyed to Axios that the Congressional delegation, led by Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, received a clear message. Saudi officials expressed that they are still keen on reaching a normalization agreement with Israel. This aligns with an interview Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman gave to Fox News, where he stated that efforts to normalize relations with Israel are “getting closer every day.”
Before the outbreak of hostilities between Israel and Hamas, the Biden administration was reportedly working on a significant deal in the Middle East. The deal aimed to formalize Saudi Arabia’s recognition of Israel, a move that could have far-reaching implications for the geopolitics of the region.
In September, during his interview with Fox News, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was optimistic about the prospects of normalization. He said that Saudi Arabia’s normalization with Israel “is getting closer every day”. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu echoed this sentiment, stating from the United Nations podium that Israel is on the “threshold” of establishing relations with Saudi Arabia.
While the path to normalization is fraught with challenges, the recent developments indicate a positive trajectory. The United States, with its constitutional integrity and diplomatic prowess, continues to play a crucial role in facilitating these dialogues. As the Crown Prince mentioned, if the details align, this could be “the biggest historical deal since the end of the Cold War.”