'Every day we get closer': MBS says on Saudi-Israeli normalization
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman expresses concerns about Iran possibly developing a nuclear weapon.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman admitted that Saudi Arabia was getting closer to normalizing ties with the Israeli occupation in an interview with Fox News released on Wednesday, adding that if Iran acquires a nuclear weapon, "we have to get one."
"Every day we get closer," Bin Salman said when asked to describe the discussions focused on normalizing diplomatic ties between Saudi Arabia and "Israel".
Responding to a question on the requirements of a normalization deal, the de facto Saudi leader claimed that "the Palestinian issue is very important. We need to solve that part." Adding that there had been "good negotiations" so far.
He continued, "We got to see where we go. We hope that will reach a place, that it will ease the life of the Palestinians, get Israel as a player in the Middle East."
Touching on the Iranian nuclear program, Bin Salman expressed concerns about Iran possibly developing a nuclear weapon, despite Tehran repeatedly rejecting claims it seeks to build a nuclear bomb.
"That's a bad move," he commented. "If you use it, you got to have a big fight with the rest of the world."
"If they get one, we have to get one," Bin Salman told Fox News.
Earlier, Israeli occupation Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said after a meeting with US President Joe Biden in New York that a US-backed deal to normalize relations with Saudi Arabia was possible. Biden has been pushing the Israeli occupation to agree to a normalization peace deal with Saudi Arabia.
"I think that under your leadership, Mr. President [Biden], we can forge a historic peace between Israel and Saudi Arabia," Netanyahu told reporters, adding that it could "go a long way" to achieve peace between "Israel" and the Palestinians.
This comes despite the Saudi Elaph news website citing an unnamed Israeli official a couple of days ago as saying that Saudi Arabia has informed the Biden administration that it will halt normalization talks with "Israel".
The official who works at Netanyahu's office said the possibility of an agreement has been nullified as far-right figures, such as Police Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, are against any sort of rapprochement with the Palestinians, and thus with the Saudis.
Furthermore, the Israeli official emphasized that the United States has informed the Israelis of Saudi Arabia's decision to "halt any talks with Americans regarding normalization or taking any step towards Israel, and the Israeli leadership is in a state of confusion," knowing that many experts, ministers, and even the Prime Minister had previously believed that Saudi Arabia would normalize relations with them without considering Palestinian demands.
In early September, Axios reported a visit by Brett McGurk, White House Coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa, to Saudi Arabia.
Back then, the website cited four US and Palestinian sources familiar with the issue as saying that McGurk is expected to meet with senior Palestinian officials and "discuss a potential Palestinian component of a possible mega-deal between the U.S., Saudi Arabia, and Israel."
Similarly, The Wall Street Journal reported in late August that Saudi Arabia looks to resume financial aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA) on the condition that the Palestinian authorities crack down on "militant groups and curb violence in the West Bank."
Saudi Arabia's move is believed to be part of a concrete effort for the Kingdom to "legitimize" any eventual agreement with the Israeli occupation. In exchange for funding the PA, Riyadh believes that it would be able to push back on critics accusing it of "sacrificing" the Palestinian people and their efforts to establish an independent state, according to the WSJ.