Palestinian issue must be addressed before Israel normalization: Saudi Arabia

Ahram Online , Friday 9 Jun 2023

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan confirmed Thursday that normalization with Israel is in the interest of the region, but the Palestinian issue must be addressed first.

Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan
Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan gives a joint press conference with the US Secretary of State after a ministerial meeting of the Global Coalition to Defeat the Islamic State in Riyadh on June 8, 2023. AFP


Bin Farhan made his comments during a press conference with his American counterpart, Anthony Blinken, at the conclusion of the meeting of the international coalition against the Islamic State terrorist group, according to statements published by Al Arabiya Net.

For his part, Blinken stated that "the United States will play a major role in expanding normalization processes with Israel."

"We are working on Israel's integration in the Middle East, and we have worked to deepen existing agreements," he added.

Bin Farhan’s remarks came as Blinken wrapped up a three-day trip to Saudi Arabia that included efforts to push normalization between the Gulf Arab country and Israel.

Earlier in his trip, Blinken had also criticized Israeli unilateral actions in the West Bank, including the expansion of settlements and demolition of Palestinian homes.

He described such actions as obstacles to peace, saying Israel-Saudi normalization is “not a substitute for progress between Israelis and Palestinians, and they should not come at its expense.”

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