In Brief: Amid speculation, Saudis reaffirm commitment to two-state normalisation

Crown prince Mohamad bin Salman > US State Department, public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Saudi Arabia will not normalise ties with Israel without progress towards a two-state solution with the Palestinians, the kingdom’s top diplomat asserted last week.

The comments by Prince Faisal bin Farhan al Saud, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, followed reported discussion of the topic between Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu and White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan last week.

“True normalisation and true stability will only come through […] giving the Palestinians a state”, the prince told Bloomberg at the summit.

Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, is a close partner of the US but has repeatedly refused to normalise ties with Washington ally Israel due to the ongoing conflict with the Palestinians.

In 2020, the US brokered a series of normalisation agreements between Israel and a number of Saudi allies, including the UAE and Bahrain.Netanyahu has repeatedly expressed his desire to see Saudi Arabia establish ties with Israel on his watch.

In conversation with Sullivan, Netanyahu reportedly discussed “measures to deepen the Abraham Accords […] with an emphasis on a breakthrough with Saudi”, according to the Prime Minister’s Office.