Saudi FM: No normalization, no Arab NATO, no cooperation with 'Israel'
Faisal bin Farhan denies much, if not all, of what US President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid remarked during their bilateral meeting.
In a statement on Saturday evening, Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan denied much of what US President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid remarked during their bilateral meeting, which was thought to be mainly about the normalization of relations with "Israel" and increasing oil production.
The Jeddah Summit for Security and Development kicked off this afternoon in Saudi Arabia, in the presence of Biden and leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council, as well as Egypt, Jordan, and Iraq.
The big NOs
The summit in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, as Farhan said, "focused on partnership with the United States of America," saying "no kind of military or technological cooperation with Israel was proposed, neither at the summit nor before it."
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"There is no proposal in the name of an Arab NATO," Faisal said, adding, "I do not know where this name came from!"
He went on to say, "There are no discussions on defense cooperation between the Gulf Cooperation Council members and Israel" and that Riyadh has no involvement in such talks.
Oil production was not discussed at the summit. “There was no oil discussion at the summit,” he said, asserting that Riyadh will do everything necessary to balance out the oil market and that OPEC+ will continue to assess the conditions and do what is necessary.
OPEC+ will be having its next meeting on August 3 - the alliance includes Russia, a prominent distributor of energy globally.
"The production of 13 million barrels of oil per day is the maximum capacity that the Kingdom will reach."
He continued, "We strongly believe in multilateral action, and we support the tendency to resolve differences through existing international organizations."
Furthermore, Farhan denied that there were any talks on normalization and that Riyadh's provision of Saudi space to Israeli carriers is not indicative of normalization.
"This has nothing to do with diplomatic ties with Israel," Prince Faisal bin Farhan told a news conference, adding, "It's not in any way a precursor to any further steps."
Diplomacy with Iran 'best route'
Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan said that "talks with Iran (hosted by Iraq) are positive, but they did not reach their goal," stressing that "diplomatic solutions are the preferable and only way to deal with Iran," stressing that the Kingdom's hand is still stretched out to the country.
Biden, in a speech on Friday night, remarked that Saudi Arabia's decision to open airspace is “a big deal, not only symbolically but substantively.”
“This is the first tangible step on the path of what I hope will be a broader normalization of relations” between "Israel" and Saudi Arabia, Biden added.
Lapid, within the same context, deemed the decision as “the first official step in normalization with Saudi Arabia," adding, “I thank the Saudi leadership for the opening of Saudi airspace. This is only the first step.”
US officials revealed that Biden will be discussing with Saudi oil ministers prospects to increase oil production, but there were unlikely to be any bilateral announcements from the talks.
At the summit, Biden articulated that Washington won't "walk away" from the Middle East, or else they'd be leaving a vacuum for China, Russia, and Iran. He declared that there will be new members of cooperation between the countries of the region, including "Israel".
On the sidelines of the summit, Biden met with the Iraqi Prime Minister, Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, who stressed to the US President that Jeddah Summit won't be discussing the issue of normalization.