Considering Riyadh’s criticism of the ongoing nuclear talks with Iran, stronger Israeli-Saudi relations could be a major asset in ensuring that the interests of Israel and the Gulf states are taken into account in Washington.
In a recent statement, former Communications Minister Ayoob Kara said more countries will soon be signing peace agreements with Israel. This makes one ponder if Saudi Arabia is next.
If the kingdom is indeed next in line to normalize ties with the Jewish state, then a major stumbling block to the process has just been removed recently, with the recent US decision to move forward with the 23 billion arms sale to the United Arab Emirates that was concluded under the Trump administration.
Although Kara stressed that the peace deal with the UAE had nothing to do with these weapons sales, the US halting them does nothing to encourage other Arab countries to make peace with Israel.
Considering Saudi Arabia’s critique of the ongoing nuclear talks with Iran, stronger Israeli-Saudi relations could be a major asset in the struggle to ensure that both Israel and the Gulf states’ interests are taken under consideration in Washington.
According to the Middle East Media Research Institute, Prince Turki Al-Faisal, former Saudi Ambassador to the US, stressed considering recent developments in the Iran nuclear talks, “The countries of the region are examining other options, with the aim of preserving their stability and preparing for the day when the Iranian leadership has nuclear weapons. This is in light of the fact that several of the powers are ready to submit to the Iranian leadership’s extortion.”
Several weeks ago, Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan said that a peace agreement with Israel would bring “tremendous benefit to Saudi Arabia,” yet such a deal would depend on the progress in solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. For this reason, Saudi Arabia was not the first Arab country to normalize relations with the Jewish state.
As the kingdom faces increased roadblocks in dealing with the Biden administration and Iran, could this change?
“The leader of Saudi Arabia is a young man. He wants Saudi Arabia to join the modern world,” former Israel Consul General Dr. Yitzchak Ben Gad said. “He got Saudis to study technology and hi-tech, for they cannot rely on the oil forever.”
Nevertheless, Ben Gad noted: “He wants to make Saudi Arabia a modern state, yet has many obstacles for the regime is Wahhabi [associated with a strict interpretation of Islam]. He has to find a way to get rid of this image fanaticism for all of the imams and religious leaders are against him. But he is a strong leader and he is doing his best to transform Saudi Arabia into a modern state.”