Israel & Palestine Middle East Saudi Arabia

Saudi Kingdom Has Plan to Establish Ties with Israel, Foreign Minister Says

Riyadh (AHT– Speaking to France 24 television late on Wednesday, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said Riyadh has a “roadmap” to establish full diplomatic ties with the Tel Aviv if an agreement is reached between Palestine and the Israeli entity.

The top Saudi diplomat further denied that reports that the kingdom had any relations with Tel Aviv, despite their mutual concerns over Iran’s growing regional influence.

Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir
Image: Wikimedia Commons

In mid-November, Lebanon’s al-Akhbar daily published a secret undated letter from Jubeir to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that puts forward a plan to normalize ties with Israel.

According to the report, Riyadh and Tel Aviv would first try to work out a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which would significantly sideline the interests of the Palestinian nation.

After getting rid of the Palestine issue, the two regimes could then focus on their common goal, which is forming an alliance against Iran, according to the report.

Related: Saudi Arabia: Hezbollah to Disarm as Hariri Talks of Return to Lebanon

Chief of Staff of the Israeli military, Lieutenant General Gadi Eizenkot, said in an interview last month that Tel Aviv was ready to share intelligence with Saudi Arabia in their joint efforts to confront Iran.

In a new gesture to extend the hand of friendship to Saudi Arabia, Israeli Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz on Wednesday invited Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to visit Tel Aviv.

Elsewhere in the interview, the Saudi foreign minister claimed that the administration of US President Donald Trump was serious about getting a peace deal between Palestinians and Israelis.

Related: Saudi Arabia’s “Vision 2030”: Bin Salman’s High-Risk Privatization Plan

“We believe the Trump administration is serious about bringing peace between Israelis and Arabs,” Jubeir said.

Saudi Arabia and Israel have been holding ‘unofficial’ meetings, to determine how they can best work together to counter Iran’s growing power. The government of Saudi Arabia has long refused to recognize Israel, making such recognition contingent upon Israeli retreat to the pre-1967 borders (those established by the United Nations in 1947), and the establishment of an independent Palestinian nation with East Jerusalem as its capital.

This post was originally written for and published by American Herald Tribune.

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