Biden: Peace deal between Israel and Saudi Arabia ‘may be under way’

U.S. president says there’s a “rapprochement maybe under way” after dispatching top White House officials dispatched to kingdom.

By World Israel News Staff

President Joe Biden on Friday indicated that an normalization deal between Israel and Saudi Arabia could be imminent.

“There’s a rapprochement maybe under way,” Biden said in comments cited by Reuters during a campaign fundraising event in Maine, without providing further details.

The development follows a column published by The New York Times‘ Thomas Friedman on Thursday, revealing Biden’s decision to authorize a visit by National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, White House energy advisor Amos Hochstein, White House Middle East envoy Brett McGurk to Jeddah to pursue discussions regarding a peace deal with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Last year, Biden unveiled two key agreements while visiting Riyadh that were seen to be crucial strides toward normalization between Israel and Saudi Arabia, including a pact regarding the removal of multinational forces from the Red Sea islands of Sanafir and Tiran, and the authorization of Saudi airspace for all Israeli flights.

According to Friedman, negotiations are advancing at a faster pace than anticipated. He cited one major prerequisite as involving substantial concessions by Israel to the Palestinian Authority, ensuring the viability of implementing a two-state solution in the future – something that the Gulf kingdom has insisted on for years, with eastern Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital.

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Despite persistent rumors of covert ties between Israel and Saudi Arabia over the years, Saudi authorities have consistently rejected such claims. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been unequivocal about his ambition to secure a peace agreement with Saudi Arabia, which he believes would “effectively end the Arab-Israeli conflict.”