Israeli media citing officials: Saudi normalization ‘question of timing’

Israeli news website i24NEWS quotes the Saudi FM as saying that “the direction of Saudi-Israeli relations is normalization.”

Senior diplomatic officials said the normalization process between Saudi Arabia and the Israeli occupation is a matter of time, the Israeli news website i24NEWS reported on Tuesday, citing an official document it obtained.

“The direction of Saudi-Israeli relations is normalization, but it will take more time and we must not put the cart before the horse,” i24NEWS quoted Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir as saying during a meeting with members of the American Jewish community (AJC) in recent weeks.

Al-Jubeir reportedly said that “Israel and other Gulf states have been gradually normalizing for years. The process must be allowed to mature,” according to i24NEWS.

The website also claimed that an AJC official told an Israeli diplomat following the meeting with Al-Jubeir that Saudi normalization with the Israeli occupation will happen and “it is only a question of timing.”

Al-Jubeir reportedly told Jewish American officials who recently visited Saudi Arabia that the success of the normalization process “depends on the success of the moderate elements in the Kingdom,” the news website said, adding that the Saudi minister considers there is significant opposition to the normalization process in Saudi Arabia.

i24NEWS cited officials that participated in the meeting as saying that Riyadh conveyed messages to the Biden administration that pointed to Washington’s “unfair treatment” regarding OPEC+ oil cuts, and the ongoing and institutionalized discrimination by the Americans.

Al-Jubeir also reportedly accused the U.S. of overlooking social reforms led by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

MBS’ list to make Riyadh join the so-called “Abraham Accords”

In the same context, bin Salman last month reportedly presented to Washington a list of demands in exchange for progress in the normalization process, claimed the Israeli website, adding that the Palestinian cause was not among the demands presented during a recent conversation with a US delegation to Riyadh.

When asked what would make Saudi Arabia join the so-called “Abraham Accords” and normalize relations with the Israeli occupation, bin Salman demanded from Washington “an affirmation of the U.S.-Saudi alliance, a commitment to follow through on weapon supplies as though Saudi Arabia were a NATO-like country, and an agreement that will allow the Saudis to exploit their extensive uranium reserves for a restricted civil nuclear program,” according to i24NEWS.

In January, Saudi Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman Al-Saud announced that Riyadh plans to use its uranium resources to develop a nuclear power program.

Netanyahu: Normalizing ties with Saudi Arabia top priority

A couple of weeks ago, Israeli media reported that Israeli Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu hinted that one of his main goals in the coming period would be to normalize ties with Saudi Arabia.

In October, the Likud leader said that normalization with KSA will be the main goal during his next term.

Israeli media quoted Netanyahu’s words, which came during an interview with CNN, as saying that “The Abraham Accords [normalization agreements] would not have taken place without tacit Saudi approval.”

Last July, Israeli media relayed the appreciation of Netanyahu to bin Salman, for his contribution to the completion of the four so-called “Abraham Accords”.

Netanyahu said that in case he assumes leadership once again, then he intends to achieve full “peace agreements” with Saudi Arabia, as well as with other Arab states.

Earlier this year, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman said, “We do not view ‘Israel’ as an enemy, but rather as a potential ally in the many interests that we can pursue together, but some issues must be resolved before we can reach that.”

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