Politics & News

KSA to Continue Normalization Talks with Israel on One Condition

Saudi Investment Minister Khalid Al-Falih said on Wednesday that talks aimed at normalization of diplomatic relations with Israel will continue, despite the Kingdom’s criticism of Israeli military actions in Gaza.

The talks will proceed on the condition that the parties reach” a peaceful solution to the Palestinian issue,” according to Bloomberg.


“This was on the table, and it is still on the table. It is clear that the setback that occurred last month made clear why Saudi Arabia insists that the solution to the Palestinian conflict must be part of broader normalization in the Middle East,” said the minister.

Al-Falih announced that the Kingdom will host two summits of Arab and Islamic countries in the coming days to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Reuters reported.


In response to a question about whether Riyadh would use economic tools, including the price of oil, to pressure to reach a ceasefire agreement in Gaza he said, “This matter is not being discussed today. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is trying to achieve peace through peaceful discussions”.

US Brokering the Normalization Deal


Before Hamas’ surprise attack on Israel, the Biden administration made notable strides in its efforts to mediate Saudi-Israeli normalization.

KSA Conditions


There were major obstacles to reaching an agreement, namely the divergent interests of the three parties. The Saudis were demanding concrete Israeli moves to improve the political prospects of the Palestinian Authority, at least opening the possibility of negotiations toward a two-state solution.


But this matter faced difficulties due to the extreme right-wing composition of the Israeli government, as such steps were not implementable, according to Gauss, a professor of international affairs at Texas A&M University.


Riyadh’s demands from the United States were also far-fetched, including a formal security guarantee and help building Saudi civilian nuclear infrastructure.


Before the Gaza war, Riyadh had insisted that Israel would have to do something substantive on the Palestinian issue as a prerequisite for normalization with it.


In August, Saudi Arabia appointed its first ambassador to the Palestinians, a move that observers interpreted as evidence of Riyadh’s commitment to pressing for Israeli guarantees on behalf of the Palestinians.


To achieve rapprochement with Riyadh, Israel will need to make more efforts than it did in the period preceding the Abraham Accords, according to Gauss.


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