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Saudi Arabia Will Have a Security Deal if it Restores Diplomacy With Israel- Blinken

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US Secretary of State Antony Blinken

Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated that the United States is nearly ready to offer Saudi Arabia a security package in exchange for normalizing relations with Israel.

Blinken was in the kingdom on Monday for his seventh trip since the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel, which has since unleashed a relentless offensive in Gaza, drawing global condemnation.

While supporting Israel, President Joe Biden’s administration has sought moderation from its government by dangling the prospect of formal relations with Saudi Arabia – a potential game changer given that the Gulf state guards Islam’s two holiest sites.

As part of any agreement, Riyadh is anticipated to demand a path to statehood for Palestinians, as well as alliance-style security guarantees from Washington, which has repeatedly attempted, with limited success, to move its focus away from the Middle East.

“The work that Saudi Arabia and the United States have been doing together in terms of our own agreements, I think, is potentially very close to completion,” Blinken said in an interview.

“But then, in order to move forward with normalization, two things will be required — calm in Gaza and a credible pathway to a Palestinian state,” he told a World Economic Forum audience in Riyadh.

Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan, who met with Blinken in Riyadh, also stated that US-Saudi accords were “very, very close”.

“Most of the work has already been done,” he added.

However, he stated that establishing a Palestinian state was “the only way it’s going to work”.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has long opposed Palestinian statehood, which the Biden administration views as the best long-term option following Israel’s conflict in Gaza.

Before October 7, Netanyahu saw Arab normalization as his legacy, having negotiated formal diplomatic ties with three nations – the UAE, Bahrain, and Morocco – in 2020.

Also Read: US Secretary of State Blinken Indicates Progress in Saudi-Israeli Normalization Efforts

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