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Saudis said wary of full normalization with Israel, or a deal with current government | TOI - today 18.44 |

WSJ reports that US, Riyadh have agreed on broad terms, hope to finalize details in 9-12 months, though odds low due to joint demand that Israel make major gestures to Palestinians

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has reportedly told aides that he is not ready to fully normalize ties with Israel and is not eager to reach an agreement with the current hardline government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

While U.S. officials have stressed that their approach to an Israel-Saudi deal is not all or nothing and that they also back interim steps that bring the sides closer to full normalization, the stance attributed to the crown prince in a Wall Street Journal report on Wednesday appeared to be the first time a Saudi official was suggesting that such intermediate moves might be as far as Riyadh is willing to go, and that it's not ready for an accord akin to the one Israel signed with the United Arab Emirates in 2020.

And while US officials have privately acknowledged that opponents of Palestinian sovereignty -- who make up a clear majority in Netanyahu's government -- will complicate efforts to secure a normalization deal, since it will require significant moves to revive the two-state solution, the report was also the first time discomfort with the idea of making any sort of deal with the current coalition was expressed by Riyadh as well.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Aug 9th, 2023 at 08:13:50 PM EST
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