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June 6, 2022 1:01 pm

WSJ: Saudi Arabia Engaging in ‘Serious Talks’ with Israel

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Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud speaks during a joint news conference with EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, October 3, 2021. REUTERS/Ahmed Yosri

i24 NewsSaudi Arabia is engaging in “serious talks” with Israel about establishing business ties and strengthening security coordination, the Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

The Arab Gulf state has so far held out from joining its neighbors in formalizing diplomatic relations with the Jewish state, citing progress on the Palestinian issue.

However, according to the report, the administration of US President Joe Biden is actively mediating between Jerusalem and Riyadh to normalize ties at a later stage.

Saudi neighbors the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain in 2020 signed the Abraham Accords with Israel in a deal brokered by the United States under then-president Donald Trump. Morocco and Sudan later joined the pact.

According to the Wall Street Journal report, the conservative Islamic kingdom “senses a shift” in its public toward establishing official relations with the Jewish state.

Biden criticized Riyadh upon assuming office over such issues as its human rights record and the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. However, there has been a recent rapprochement between the White House and the Saudis as indicated by the president’s potential trip there next month.

Israel has been more involved with the Saudis recently as well, including trips by leaders in the private sector and through official channels over the issue of the transferring of sovereignty of the Red Sea Tiran and Sanafir islands from Egypt to Saudi Arabia.

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