Saudi Arabia has reportedly agreed to the “broad contours” of a deal with the United States to recognize Israel in exchange for concessions to the Palestinians, US security guarantees, and civilian nuclear help, a Wednesday report cited American officials as saying.
Benjamin Netanyahu, Mohammed bin Salman, Joe Biden.
According to the Wall Street Journal, US officials are cautiously optimistic that within the next year, they can work out the finer details of what would be “the most momentous Middle East peace deal in a generation.” However, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) reportedly said he is not in a rush to finish the deal due to the current makeup of Israel’s “hard-line” government.
BREAKING — US and Saudi Arabia have agreed on the broad terms of a deal for Saudi Arabia to recognize Israel in exchange for concessions to the Palestinians, US security guarantees and civilian nuclear help, WSJ reports, citing US officials. pic.twitter.com/WthEyc6mNc
— Ragıp Soylu (@ragipsoylu) August 9, 2023
The reported deal came after MBS met with US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan last month in Jeddah. It also came days after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he was optimistic about deepening ties between the Jewish state and the Gulf kingdom, acknowledging that in order to reach a peace deal, Israel would have to give “some” concessions.
Negotiators are now reportedly discussing Riyadh’s requests that the US help them develop a civilian nuclear program and offer ironclad security guarantees. Saudi Arabia – which recently restored ties with Israel’s arch-rival Iran – is also seeking significant concessions from Israel that would help promote the creation of a Palestinian state. In return, the U.S. is pressing the kingdom to distance itself economically and militarily from China, WSJ noted.
“There’s a work plan to explore the elements of what this would be and test the boundaries of what’s possible,” said one senior US official.
US President Joe Biden has tried to winnow his military’s presence in the Middle East and weave together a regional security alliance capable of countering threats from Iran with limited backing from Washington. Details of a deal, however, are expected to face scrutiny in Congress, where many lawmakers are against making concessions to MBS over the 2018 killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Biden has reportedly yet to decide what price he is willing to pay, the WJS said, adding that he believes that “America has to remain a central player in the Middle East to contain Iran, isolate Russia for its war in Ukraine, and thwart efforts by China to supplant Washington’s interests in the region.”
UPDATE — US and #SaudiArabia have agreed on the broad terms of a deal for Saudi Arabia to recognize Israel in exchange for concessions to the Palestinians, US security guarantees and civilian nuclear help, WSJ reports, citing US officials – @ragipsoylu pic.twitter.com/BPPPqg7SIY
— Mohamed Salh (@MohamedSelh) August 9, 2023
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed in an interview on Sunday, that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict comes up less than is perceived, in negotiations, calling it “sort of a check box.”