Israel’s foreign minister Eli Cohen said on Sunday that there was a relatively short “window of opportunity” for Israel to normalise ties with Saudi Arabia in the coming months, adding that Jerusalem was optimistic about the likelihood of a deal.
“We are very optimistic about the possibility of achieving such an agreement. This is an achievable agreement, after which more countries will follow”, Cohen said.
Israel normalised diplomatic ties with the UAE, Bahrain and Morocco for the first time in 2020 in what have collectively been called the Abraham Accords.
Cohen claimed that the Saudis “were also interested in such an agreement”, which he clarified “will not be part” of the Abraham Accords but would likely include other countries as well.
According to Israeli assessments, Cohen claimed that “there is a window of opportunity until March 2024” for an agreement, “after which the political system in the US will focus on the presidential elections” in November that year.
Speculation about a potential deal between Jerusalem and Riyadh has increased in recent months as the Biden administration has intensified its efforts to broker an agreement.
Earlier this month, the Saudi foreign minister acknowledged that normalising ties with Israel would bring significant benefits to the region but claimed that these would be limited by the absence of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.