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The US Will Not Gain From Israel-Saudi Normalization

Speaking at a conference hosted by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee on June 5, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated the Biden administration is committed to brokering formal diplomatic relations between Israel and Saudi, arguing that “the United States has a real national security interest in promoting normalization between Israel and Saudi Arabia…We believe we can and indeed we must play an integral role in advancing it.”

Blinken is wrong. The U.S. has little to gain and may incur large costs by trying to broker an Israel-Saudi normalization.

Blinken’s statement followed a visit by White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan to Saudi Arabia last week to discuss the issue with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS). There are reports the Biden administration is allegedly pushing for Israel-Saudi normalization by the end of 2023 before entering into a contentious election year. In return for normalization with Israel, Saudi Arabia is pressing the Biden administration for more formalized security commitments, as well as help with developing their civilian nuclear program — namely the ability to independently enrich uranium.

These rumors of possible Israel-Saudi normalization are not new, nor are efforts by the Israeli government and the Biden administration to try and bring Saudi Arabia into the fold of the so-called “Abraham Accords” — the series of diplomatic agreements signed under the Trump administration that involved the formal normalization of relations between Israel, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Bahrain (and were later expanded to include Morocco and Sudan). The Biden administration has repeatedly expressed its desire to expand upon the Abraham Accords, and Israeli public opinion polls demonstrate Saudi Arabia remains by far the most important Arab country with which they desire to normalize relations. President Biden himself centered his dual visit to Israel and Saudi Arabia in 2022 on this issue.

Source : The Hill