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Saudi Arabia Remains Open to Normalization with Israel, Affirms Saudi Envoy


Saudi Arabia remains keen on pursuing a normalization deal with Israel following the resolution of the conflict with Hamas in Gaza, according to Prince Khalid bin Bandar, the Saudi ambassador to the UK. In a recent BBC radio interview, the envoy expressed the kingdom’s enduring interest in establishing ties with Israel as part of a comprehensive two-state solution.

Ambassador Bandar emphasized the longstanding interest in reaching a deal with Israel, dating back to 1982, and highlighted Saudi Arabia’s willingness to accept Israel as a reality. However, he stressed that such acceptance should be contingent on the establishment of a Palestinian state.

Bandar noted that discussions preceding the October 7 events had been underway, hinting at the possibility of a historic normalization deal. He clarified that any normalization efforts must align with the ultimate goal of an independent state of Palestine.

Israel and Saudi Arabia were reportedly on the verge of finalizing a historic agreement just before the October 7 onslaught by Hamas, where thousands of militants crossed the border, resulting in casualties and hostilities. Bandar’s recent remarks indicate that Saudi Arabia remains open to normalization but insists that it should not come at the expense of the Palestinian people.

The interview comes amid ongoing efforts by the international community to de-escalate tensions in the region. Despite challenges, Bandar’s statements underscore Saudi Arabia’s enduring interest in pursuing diplomatic ties with Israel within the broader framework of a two-state solution.

The potential normalization discussions had gained momentum before the outbreak of hostilities, reflecting a historical trajectory of diplomatic engagement between the two nations.

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