Will Israel and Saudi Arabia establish economic ties?

Israel and Saudi Arabia are reportedly negotiating the establishment of economic ties, on the way to full diplomatic normalization.

Israel and Saudi Arabia are in talks to establish economic ties, on the way to full diplomatic normalization the UK’s Sunday Times reported Saturday.

If the report is accurate and if the talks come to fruition, this could be a dramatic move that would put the Jewish state on a path to normal relations with a leading Arab-Muslim state.

Citing Arab and US sources, the report said that the links would start small, such as allowing Israeli businesses to operate in the Gulf and letting El Al, Israel’s national carrier, to fly over Saudi airspace, but would eventually lead to full normalization.

Although Israel and Saudi Arabia have no official diplomatic ties, they have reportedly unofficially grown closer in recent years over their shared concerns regarding Iran’s nuclear program, its growing influence in the Middle East, and the advent of Islamic terror.

Last July, former Saudi General Anwar Eshki visited Jerusalem and met with Israeli officials, including Foreign Ministry Director General Dore Gold.

In October 2015, Saudi Prince al-Waleed bin Talal stated that in the event of another Palestinian Intifada (uprising) against Israel he would side with the Jewish State, saying that “Saudi Arabia has reached a political maturity to constitute a durable alliance with the Jewish nation.”

“I will side with the Jewish nation and its democratic aspirations in case of outbreak of a Palestinian Intifada and I shall exert all my influence to break any ominous Arab initiatives set to condemn Tel Aviv, because I deem the Arab-Israeli entente and future friendship necessary to impede the Iranian dangerous encroachment,” he said.

However, the Times report quoted Saudi sources who dismissed the notion of a possible upgrade in diplomatic relations with the Jewish state, saying this was wishful thinking on behalf of the White House, which wishes to demonstrate immediate progress following President Donald Trump’s recent visit to the region.

The report says that the Palestinians are furious over the talks, fearing that normalization between Israel and Saudi Arabia could hinder their aspirations.

By: World Israel News Staff