Saudi Arabia Says Relations with Israel will Benefit Region

Saudi Arabia Says Relations with Israel will Benefit Region

Riyadh: The Saudi Foreign Minister has said that normal relations with Israel will bring “tremendous benefits” to the Middle East region.

According to the French news agency AFP, published in the Dawn newspaper, he also said that any such agreement depends on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

Under the “Abraham Agreement” initiated by former US President Donald Trump, four Arab countries, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan, have agreed to normal relations with the Jewish state.

However, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said any agreement with Saudi Arabia “depends largely on the progress of the peace process”.

“I think the normalization of Israel’s position in the region will be of great benefit to the region as a whole,” he said in an interview with CNN.

“It will be very helpful from an economic and social point of view as well as from a security point of view,” he added.

Saudi Arabia has repeatedly reiterated its decades-long policy of not having formal relations with Israel until an agreement is reached to resolve the conflict with Palestine.

However, common concerns about Iran have brought Israel and the Gulf states closer together, and Riyadh has been quietly building ties with the Jewish state for years.

In November last year, there were reports that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had paid a secret visit to Saudi Arabia.

The reports reinforced speculation that an agreement was being reached to normalize relations, but Riyadh denied any such meeting.