Normalization with Israel for the benefit of the region, Saudi FM says

The Saudi Foreign Minister affirmed that normalization between his country and Israel would be beneficial for the country; however, it depends on the progress of the peace process, he added.

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On Thursday, Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan stated that the establishment of ties between Saudi Arabia and Israel would be beneficial for the region. However, materializing such a situation largely depends on the progress of the peace process between Israel and Palestine, Faisal bin Farhan added.

The statement came during the Saudi Foreign Minister’s interview. Speaking to CNN, the Saudi Foreign Minister stated that “it – referring to the normalization with Israel – would be extremely helpful economically, socially, and from a security perspective.” Faisal bin Farhan also pointed out that this would be possible under the circumstance of a Palestinian state being established within the territories recognized at the time of 1967.

After the US-brokered normalization deal had been signed between Israel and Gulf states, namely Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), eyes were fixed at Saudi Arabia. At that time, the statements that came from Saudi Arabia showed similarities with today.

Last December, Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan stated that “What we need to make happen is a peace deal that delivers a Palestinian state with dignity and with a workable sovereignty that Palestinians accept.” According to the Saudi FM’s statements at the time, normalizing relations with Israel is a move, a part of Saudi Arabia’s long-term plan, that would be materialized in exchange for the establishment of a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders.

These were proposed by Saudi Arabia in 2002 under the name of the “Arab Peace Initiative,” which foresaw normalization between Israel and Arab countries on the condition that the full withdrawal of Israel from lands occupied during the 1967 War, including Golan Heights, East Jerusalem, and the West Bank took place.

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