'Breakthrough with Saudi Arabia'; the core of Netanyahu-Sullivan talks
The Israeli PM and US National Security Advisor also discussed Iran and efforts to increase pressure against Tehran.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan discussed the issue of normalization of ties between "Israel" and Saudi Arabia, the PM's office said on Thursday.
The meeting between the two came during Sullivan's visit to occupied Palestine.
Before meeting Netanyahu, Sullivan met with the director of Israeli Mossad David Barnea and the Israeli "national security" advisor Tzachi Hanegbi.
Read more: IOF not ready for a multifront war: Israeli Major Gen.
Hanegbi and Sullivan also had a video meeting with their UAE and Bahraini counterparts, while the four parties announced "committing to enhancing the Abraham Accords," Netanyahu's office added.
Sullivan traveled to "Israel" this week to meet with government officials to talk about regional security issues considered to be a common concern, including Iran, White House National Security Council Spokesperson John Kirby said on Tuesday.
"He's going to underscore the enduring US commitment to Israeli security. He's also going to discuss the challenges and opportunities that face the region, including, of course, the threat posed by Iran," Kirby said.
Kirby also highlighted that on Sullivan's agenda will be the advancement of Israeli-Saudi Arabian relations in regard to the deepening of normalization.
Sullivan's visit to "Israel" also seeks to emphasize the US commitment to a "two-state solution" and to maintaining the existing "status quo" as the US fears that the new radical Israeli government's measures - as 15 Palestinians have already been martyred in the first 18 days of 2023 - could cause what the US calls "unrest".
Earlier this week, an Israeli journalist reported from the Saudi capital, Riyadh, said that it is clear to him that the normalization of relations between Saudi Arabia and "Israel" are currently closer than ever, according to his estimation.
Netanyahu in October confirmed that normalization agreements with Arab states would not have been concluded were it not for Saudi Arabia's approval, adding that establishing relations with the Kingdom will be his main goal during his term.
Earlier in 2022, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman said, “We do not view Israel as an enemy, but rather as a potential ally in the many interests that we can pursue together, but some issues must be resolved before we can reach that."
"Abraham Accords" also on the agenda
According to Netanyahu's office, the PM and Sullivan discussed "measures to deepen the Abraham Accords and expand the cycle of peace, with an emphasis on a breakthrough with Saudi."
The two also discussed Iran's nuclear issue and joint efforts to increase pressure against the Islamic Republic.
Netanyahu also thanked US President Joe Biden for his committed position toward Tehran.
"You come at a special time because we have acute challenges to our security and vast opportunities for peace," Netanyahu said.
"I am convinced that by working together we can both meet the challenges and realise the opportunities," he said. "That's something that bolsters our extraordinary alliance but also can change the region and change history."
On his part, Sullivan confirmed the US' position to "ensure Iran can never acquire a nuclear weapon," the White House said.
The Israeli PM and Sullivan "also discussed Ukraine, as well as the burgeoning defense partnership between Russia and Iran and its implications for security in the Middle East," said Adrienne Watson, the National Security Council spokesperson.
The statement added that Sullivan claimed that he opposes actions that threaten the "viability" of a future Palestinian state.
The US official also "underscored the urgency of avoiding unilateral steps by any party that could inflame tensions on the ground, with special attention to maintaining the historic status quo with respect to the holy places in Jerusalem."
During a meeting with the Israeli President Isaac Herzog, the two discussed "ways to deepen the strategic cooperation," Herzog's office stated.
It's worth noting that Sullivan is the first US senior official to visit "Israel" after the Netanyahu government was formed.