Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said reaching an agreement to normalize ties with Saudi Arabia would be a “long and cautious” process, but Israel believes in the possibility, the Times of Israel reported on Monday.
“We believe that the process of normalization is possible with Saudi Arabia. It’s in our best interest… We’ve already said that this is the next step after the Abraham Accords to talk about a long and careful process.”
Lapid said that should a deal be signed, it would not come as a surprise announcement, as with previous deals with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.
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“It won’t be like last time… we won’t wake up suddenly one morning and it will be a surprise,” Lapid said, referring to the US-broker Abraham agreement signed in 2020.
He said Israel is working with the US and the Gulf countries towards the goal of normalizing relations with Saudi.
There are no diplomatic relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel.
The Kingdom’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said in March that Saudi Arabia sees Israel as a “potential ally”, though noting that several issues need to be resolved first.
“For us, we hope that the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians will be resolved. We do not see Israel as an enemy, we see them as a potential ally, with many interests that we together pursue. But we have to solve some issues before we can reach that, ”he said in an interview with the American magazine The Atlantic.
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