"Israel" talks to US, Gulf about ties with Riyadh
After seeing a slow process for diplomatic ties, Israeli FM Yair Lapid seeks the US and Gulf's help to forge ties with the kingdom.
Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said on Monday that "Israel" has been talking to the US and Gulf Arab countries about how to normalize ties with Saudi Arabia, but that any progress will be sluggish.
“We are working on it with the Americans, with some of our friends in the Gulf, in all kinds of ways,” Lapid said in an interview with Israeli Army radio when asked about reports that "Israel" would discuss normalization during a planned visit by US President Joe Biden to "Israel" and the region next month.
However, establishing full diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia will be a "long, laborious process" that will take time, he stressed. Biden's visit to "Israel", set to focus on developing Saudi-Israeli relations among other things, is now scheduled for the end of June, according to Lapid.
Saudi Arabia continues to publicly assert that it supports the Palestinian demand for independence and will not normalize relations with "Israel" until this problem is resolved, despite several reports revealing direct lines of communications and cooperative projects between the two regimes.
Since 2020, when it normalized relations with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Morocco in a US-brokered accord, "Israel" has struggled to strengthen its diplomatic contacts in the Arab world.
Following an attempted coup, a much-publicized campaign to reestablish relations with Sudan was halted, while other nations in the area, including Iraq, have so far ruled out developing diplomatic relations with "Israel."
Normalization with Saudi Arabia would establish relations with the Middle East's greatest economy and the most powerful country among the Gulf Cooperation Council's six members.