The Saudi Arabian foreign minister said on Thursday that the creation of a Palestinian state would have to precede any establishment of formal diplomatic relations between the Arab world’s largest economy and Israel, according to a Bloomberg news report.
Prince Faisal bin Farhan explained that “we have said consistently that we believe normalization with Israel is something that is very much in the interest of the region,” speaking in an interview with Bloomberg TV in Davos Switzerland. “However, true normalization and true stability will only come through giving the Palestinians hope, through giving the Palestinians dignity.”
“That requires giving the Palestinians a state, and that’s the priority,” he said.
Since normalizing ties with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain under the U.S. brokered Abraham Accords, Israeli leaders such as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have sought to expand on that breakthrough and bring in other Arab countries.
Netanyahu had met with U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan in Jerusalem also on Thursday to discuss, among other things, “the next steps to deepen the Abraham Accords and expand the circle of peace, with an emphasis on a breakthrough with Saudi Arabia,” Netanyahu said.
Palestinian statehood has long been a key issue for the Saudi kingdom when speaking on establishing ties with the Jewish state. With Netanyahu’s far-right government moving in full force, the possibility for a formal relationship between the two countries appear to be bleak.