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March 3, 2022 5:54 pm

Saudi Crown Prince: Israel Could Be ‘Potential Ally’

avatar by i24 News and Algemeiner Staff

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman speaks during the Gulf Cooperation Council’s (GCC) 41st Summit in Al-Ula, Saudi Arabia January 5, 2021. Photo: Bandar Algaloud/Courtesy of Saudi Royal Court/Handout via REUTERS

i24 News – Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has said Israel could be a “potential ally” of Riyadh, in remarks published Thursday.

“For us, we hope that the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians is solved,” the prince told US monthly magazine The Atlantic, according to remarks carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.

“We don’t look at Israel as an enemy, we look to them as a potential ally, with many interests that we can pursue together,” Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler said.

“But we have to solve some issues before we get to that,” he added.

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Saudi Arabia does not have diplomatic relations with Israel.

But in 2020, two of its main Gulf allies — Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates — normalized ties with Israel, becoming the third and fourth Arab states to do so after Egypt and Jordan.

Saudi Arabia has repeatedly said it would stick to the decades-old Arab League position of not establishing official ties with Israel until the conflict with the Palestinians is resolved.

In December 2021, Saudi Arabia’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Abdallah Al-Mouallimi, told Arab News that Riyadh is ready to normalize relations with the Jewish state “as soon as the terms of [the Arab Peace Initiative]… are implemented.”

Prince Mohammed has, however, seems more open than his father – King Salman – towards Israel, allowing its commercial aircraft to pass through Saudi air space.

Last month, Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud told the Hebrew-language newspaper Maariv that normalization will materialize when Israel follows a “just solution” to the Palestinian issue.

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