Saudi Arabia ‘unequivocally’ rules out peace with Israel without Palestinian state

Saudi Foreign Minister says Riyadh will never normalize relations with Israel without a ‘credible, irreversible path’ to Palestinian statehood.

By David Rosenberg, World Israel News

Saudi Arabia will not entertain normalization talks with Israel that are not predicated on a path to Palestinian statehood, Riyadh’s foreign minister said Sunday, the oil-rich kingdom’s most explicit statement yet linking a deal with Israel to the two-state solution.

Speaking with CNN Sunday, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud ruled out normalization talks with Israel, unless they are accompanied by what host Fareed Zakaria called a “credible and irreversible path to a Palestinian state.”

“That’s the only way we’re going to get a benefit,” said Prince Faisal.

The Saudi foreign minister also conditioned Saudi aid for rebuilding the Gaza Strip after the current war between Israel and Hamas on a “solution” to the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

“As long as we’re able to find a pathway to a solution, a resolution, a pathway that means that we’re not going to be here again in a year or two, then we can talk about anything.”

“But if we are just resetting to the status quo before Oct. 7, in a way that sets us up for another round of this, as we have seen in the past, we’re not interested in that conversation.”

Saudi Arabia, which has in recent years expressed interest in cementing its de facto ties with Israel through a formal agreement, has repeatedly cited Palestinian statehood as a condition for a deal with Jerusalem.

Last week, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Prince Faisal reiterated that Saudi Arabia remains open to a peace deal with Israel despite the ongoing Gaza war, while adding that such a deal could only be secured after the war’s end and in conjunction with the establishment of a Palestinian state.

“We agree that regional peace includes peace for Israel, but that could only happen through peace for the Palestinians through a Palestinian state,” the prince said.

“There is a pathway towards a much better future for the region, for the Palestinians, and for Israel, that is peace, and we are fully committed to that.”

“A ceasefire on all sides should be a starting point for permanent sustainable peace, which can only happen through justice to the Palestinian people.”