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Saudi Arabia will not establish diplomatic relations with Israel if Palestine cannot establish an independent state

Saudi Arabia and Israel

Saudi Arabia has told the United States that its position is that unless the international community recognizes the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders and including East Jerusalem, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Wednesday (February 7) that Saudi Arabia has told the United States that its position within the Gaza Strip is that Israel ceases its “aggression” against the Gaza Strip, otherwise it will not establish diplomatic relations with Israel.

After the Six-Day War in June 1967, Israel occupied the Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem, and the West Bank. Saudi Arabia is referring to the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with full sovereignty based on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said on Tuesday that the Biden administration has received positive feedback that Saudi Arabia and Israel are willing to continue discussions on normalizing relations.

The Saudi Foreign Ministry said that in light of Kobe’s remarks, the Kingdom issued a statement reiterating its firm position on the Palestinian issue to Washington.

The idea of ​​formally strengthening ties between Israel and Saudi Arabia has been discussed since Saudi Arabia acquiesced to Gulf neighbors the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain establishing ties with Israel in 2020.

In October 2023, as the conflict between the Palestinian militant group Hamas and the Israeli army escalated, sources familiar with Riyadh’s thinking revealed that Saudi Arabia shelved the U.S.-backed plan to normalize relations with Israel.

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Hamas militants launched an attack in southern Israel on October 7 last year, killing 1,200 people and taking 253 hostages. After that, Israel launched a military operation to eliminate the Hamas organization in Gaza. Affected by Israeli air strikes and ground offensives, about 85% of Gaza’s 2.3 million population have been forced to flee their homes, and large areas of buildings have been razed to the ground. The death toll is now believed to be close to 30,000.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is making his fifth trip to the Middle East since the conflict broke out in Gaza. On Monday, he met with the Saudi Crown Prince and Prime Minister Mohammed bin Salman. Washington is trying to advance talks on a normalization deal between Saudi Arabia and Israel and make progress on post-war governance talks in Gaza. On Tuesday, Blinken held separate talks with the leaders of Egypt and Qatar.

A U.S. official said Blinken is expected to engage in sensitive negotiations during his meetings in the Middle East, and a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza will be crucial to quickly resolving important issues such as Gaza reconstruction, Palestinian Authority reform, Gaza governance. , promoting the two-state solution, etc.

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