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October 20, 2021 10:09 am

White House Discussing Israel Normalization With Saudis

avatar by i24 News

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman speaks during a meeting to Launch Public Investment Fund Strategy 2021-2025, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, January 24, 2021. Photo: Saudi Press Agency/Handout via REUTERS

i24 News – The administration of US President Joe Biden is discussing with Saudi Arabia the possibility of normalizing relations with Israel by joining the Abraham Accords, Israeli news site Walla! reports.

White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan raised the issue last month in Riyadh during a meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), according to three US and Arab sources involved in the talks.

The sources said that during the conversation, MBS did not immediately reject the proposal to establish diplomatic ties with Israel, listing the steps needed to make the move, including improving relations between the United States and Saudi Arabia.

On Thursday, Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud was in Washington for a meeting with Secretary of State Antony Blinken. The possibility of Saudi Arabia joining the Abraham Accords was not mentioned in the public statements of either side.

The Biden administration has taken a more critical stance toward the kingdom compared to his predecessor Donald Trump, focusing on human rights and raising the issue of the assassination of Saudi dissident and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

The report states that any deal would need to be part of a larger package that would include Israeli measures regarding the Palestinians and a thawing of relations between Washington and Riyadh.

The Abraham Accords originally included the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, with the later additions of Sudan and Morocco.

The White House is reportedly also working on adding Comoros, a Muslim-majority island country off the coast of eastern Africa, to the Abraham Accords.

Other Muslim-majority countries that have been mentioned as possibly joining the Abraham Accords include Tunisia, Oman, Qatar, and Malaysia.

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