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"Normalization with Israel? Why not?

1 min

Saudi Arabia's foreign minister said on Tuesday the kingdom could recognise Israel if a comprehensive agreement were reached that included statehood for the Palestinians.

Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, Reuters/Denis Balibouse/File Photo

Saudi Arabia's foreign minister said on Tuesday the kingdom could recognise Israel if a comprehensive agreement were reached that included statehood for the Palestinians.

"We agree that regional peace includes peace for Israel, but that could only happen through peace for the Palestinians through a Palestinian state," Prince Faisal bin Farhan told a panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Asked if Saudi Arabia would then recognise Israel as part of a wider political agreement, he said: "Certainly."

Prince Faisal said securing regional peace through the creation of a Palestinian state was "something we have been indeed working on with the U.S. administration, and it is more relevant in the context of Gaza".

After the eruption of war last October between Israel and the militant Palestinian group Hamas that rules Gaza, Saudi Arabia put on ice U.S.-backed plans for the kingdom to normalise ties with Israel, two sources familiar with Riyadh's thinking said, in a swift reordering of of its diplomatic priorities.

The two sources told Reuters there would be some delay in the U.S.-backed talks on normalisation of Saudi-Israel ties, which is seen as a key step for the kingdom to secure what it considers the real prize of a U.S. defence pact in exchange.

Before Oct. 7, when Iran-backed Hamas fighters launched an attack on southern Israel, both Israeli and Saudi leaders had signalled they were moving steadily towards establishing diplomatic realations that could have reshaped the Middle East.

Reporting by Maha El Dahan

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