US' Hochstein to Saudi Arabia for 'Israel' Normalization talks: Axios
The US envoy will be meeting with Saudi officials who will most likely ask the US to assist them with efforts to develop a civilian nuclear program.
Axios reported on Wednesday that Senior US Advisor to the President for Energy and Investment Amos Hochstein has traveled to Saudi Arabia this week as part of efforts to strengthen relations with the US and push for normalization with "Israel."
According to the report, the White House wants to fulfill these objectives within the next six to seven months before President Joe Biden is due to dedicate more time to the 2024 presidential runoff.
Amid heightened competition with Beijing, the US seeks to strengthen relations with Saudi Arabia, the report says, noting that the move is intended to secure and safeguard US geopolitical and economic interests.
Hochstein will be meeting with Saudi officials who are most likely expected to ask the US to assist them with efforts to develop a civilian nuclear program.
Israeli media reported on June 20 that there will be no direct flights transporting Hajj pilgrims from "Israel" [occupied Palestine] to Saudi Arabia, which inauspiciously frames the prospect of normalization between the two countries.
"Despite the efforts that have been made, there are no direct flights between Israel and Saudi Arabia to transport pilgrims to Mecca," Israeli channel Kan reported.
The Israeli Ministry of Transportation announced that airlines would not submit requests to operate flights to Saudi destinations with the approaching date of Hajj rituals in Mecca. A senior assistant to the occupation Prime Minister also confirmed that there will be no immediate flights to Saudi Arabia.
"We may be in a position to help with this matter, in the next Hajj season, to organize direct flights from here, but it's too early to tell," Israeli National Security Advisor Tzachi Hanegbi told the Israeli public broadcaster Radio Kan.
In an interview earlier this week, the minister described the prospect of normalization with Saudi Arabia as "elusive" such that it is conditioned on the future of the Saudi-American relations which are currently tense.
An informed source told Reuters that Saudi Arabia is setting normalization with "Israel" as a trade-off for Washinton's endorsement of their civil nuclear program, which "Israel" is uneasy about.
Under the auspices of China, Iran, and Saudi Arabia agreed to restore diplomatic relations on March 10. The two countries had their ties severed in 2016 following Saudi Arabia's execution of Sheikh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr.
The agreement to officially restore diplomatic ties was signed at a ceremony on April 6 in Beijing.
The two countries are scheduled to resume direct flights, allow mutual visits by top officials, and foster security collaboration. The collective West has been set back by the China-sponsored peace.
Its "rules-based" world order hangs by a thread, while the US' dollar supremacy wanes.
The blow was hard for Netanyahu, who just a month prior to the Iran-Saudi deal said that "Israel" and Saudi Arabia were planning to join forces on the basis of a common goal of stopping Iran.
While the US failed to fulfill its security commitments towards Iran, Saudi Arabia decided to maneuver into a position backed by Chinese guarantees of security.