Saudi Arabia suspends talks on peace deal with Israel - Arab report

September 18, 2023

Saudi Arabia informed the Biden administration of its decision to halt all talks of normalizing ties with Israel on Sunday, the Arab news outlet Elaph cited an Israeli official in the Prime Minister’s Office as saying. According to the unconfirmed report, Riyadh issued a message through the US, explaining that the “extremist” nature of Israel’s right-wing government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is “torpedoing any possibility of rapprochement with the Palestinians, and thus with the Saudis,” as per Elaph. Furthermore, the report specified that Saudi Arabia was put off from a potential peace deal due to Netanyahu’s “acceptance” of demands made by the likes of National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, who the Saudis see as “extreme right.”Antony Blinken: Palestinian issue is critical for peace dealLast week, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that Saudi Arabia informed the Biden administration that resolving Palestinian issues is critical for any normalization deal with Israel. “In our judgment that needs to involve a two-state solution” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he explained. Last month, Foreign Minister Eli Cohen stressed in an interview with Elaph that the “Palestinian issue is not an obstacle to peace.”

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