• Wednesday, May 12, 2021
  • Last Update : 02:53 am

Saudi FM says ties with Israel would bring region 'tremendous benefit'

  • Published at 06:11 pm April 3rd, 2021
Saudi_FM_Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud
FILE PHOTO: Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud speaks during a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, at the State Department, in Washington, U.S., October 14, 2020 Reuters

Saudi Arabia, however, made it clear that any such deal would depend on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process

Normalization with Israel would bring "tremendous benefit" to the region, the Saudi foreign minister has said, but such an accord with the kingdom would depend on progress in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

Under the "Abraham Accords" brokered by former US president Donald Trump last year, four Arab countries -- the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan -- agreed to normalize ties with the Jewish state. 

But Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said on Thursday that any deal with Saudi Arabia was "very much dependent on progress with the peace process."

"I think normalizing Israel's status within the region would bring tremendous benefit to the region as a whole," he said during an interview with CNN.

"It would be extremely helpful both economically but also socially and from a security perspective."

Gulf powerhouse Saudi Arabia has repeatedly affirmed its decades-old policy of not establishing formal ties with Israel until a deal is reached to resolve the conflict with the Palestinians. 

But mutual concern over Iran has gradually brought Israel and Gulf countries closer, and Riyadh has quietly been building relations with the Jewish state for several years.

Reports in November that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held secret talks in Saudi Arabia fuelled speculation that a normalization accord with the Gulf's top power could be in the making.

Riyadh, however, denied the meeting had taken place.

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