Report: Saudi normalization could be determined by US election outcome

Mossad director Yossi Cohen reportedly said Saudi Arabia could announce normalization immediately after the U.S. presidential election, depending on its outcome.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

Channel 12 News reported Sunday morning that a normalization announcement between Israel and Saudi Arabia appears to be imminent.

According to Channel 12 News, Mossad director Yossi Cohen told confidants that Saudi Arabia will announce normalization immediately after the U.S. presidential election on November 3.

But The Jerusalem Post reported that Cohen actually said that the timing of the announcement depends on the winner.

If Trump wins, Cohen allegedly said, the announcement could be made immediately. If Biden wins, the timeline for the agreement is murkier.

In any case, a Saudi-Israel normalization agreement would likely be sweetened for the Saudis by an arms deal with the U.S.

Last Friday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that he would not oppose the sale of American F-35 fighter jets to the United Arab Emirates.

In September, a senior Emirati official told Israel Hayom that Netanyahu had agreed to a secret arms sales clause in the peace deal that would allow the U.A.E. to obtain advanced military technology. Netanyahu vehemently denied the claims, calling them “fake news.”

While hosting Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud at the White House last week, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo dropped hints about a potential normalization agreement between Saudi Arabia and Israel.

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“We hope Saudi Arabia will consider normalizing its relationships as well. We want to thank them for the assistance they’ve had in the success of the Abraham Accords so far,” Pompeo said.

According to a study conducted by Zogby Research, 80 percent of Saudis would support normalization with Israel.

A poll conducted by Israel’s Mitvim Institute for Foreign Policy found that Israelis considered normalization with Saudi Arabia the most strategically important country with whom Israel should normalize relations.

The Gulf kingdom of Oman is also likely to announce normalization with the Jewish state, reported Channel 12 News.

Last month, Oman lauded the normalization agreements between the U.A.E., Bahrain, and Israel. In a public statement, the Omani government said the Abraham Accords “contribute to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East.”

Netanyahu visited Oman in 2018, which marked the first visit by an Israeli official in over 20 years.