by: Itamar Eichner and Moran Azoulay ~ Ynetnews
Thursday, 21 September 2023 | The tripartite agreement between the US, Saudi Arabia and Israel is getting closer, and for the first time everyone is saying so publicly.
“Every day we are getting closer to an agreement with Israel,” Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said Wednesday in an interview with Fox News. According to him, addressing the Palestinian issue is important for reaching normalization. He also mentioned the nuclear issue, saying: “If Iran has nuclear weapons, we must have them too.”
The interview, which will be broadcast in its entirety later on Wednesday night, was filmed before the statements of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President of the United States Joe Biden during their meeting in New York. In an unusual move, Netanyahu linked the normalization with Saudi Arabia to “peace with the Palestinians” in the statement.
“For us, the Palestinian issue is very important. We need to solve that part,” the crown prince said when asked during the Fox interview what it would take to get a normalization agreement.
“We got to see where we go. We hope that will reach a place that it will ease the life of the Palestinians, get Israel as a player in the Middle East,” he said, speaking in English.
In the conversation between Biden and Netanyahu, the prime minister said that Israel and the US see eye to eye on the Saudi nuclear issue, that there is opposition to giving Saudi Arabia the ability to enrich uranium independently, but they will allow it to have a civilian nuclear program.
According to a senior political official, the main point of the meeting between Biden and Netanyahu “dealt with the question of how to advance the normalization and peace agreement with Saudi Arabia. Not if, but how. We went into a lot of details. There is a desire to overcome the obstacles and we do it by working together. There is no other way.”
He added that “there is an absolute identity between the positions of Israel and the US in relation to the issue of civilian nuclear power in Saudi Arabia.”
Regarding the Palestinians’ connection to the agreement, the source said that “Netanyahu told Biden that the Palestinians are part of the process, but they will not have a veto over it,” and expanded that Israel strives for “an agreement that both countries can live with and pass the threshold of maintaining Israeli security.”
Posted on September 21, 2023
Source: (Excerpt from an article originally published by Ynetnews on September 20, 2023. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)
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