Saudi Arabia willing to normalise relations with Israel in exchange for a US defence pact and civilian nuclear programme.
(Al Jazeera) – For months, Saudi Arabia and Israel – with the United States – have been discussing an agreement to normalise relations.
The US has made it clear that official relations between its two allies in the Middle East is a top priority, with top diplomat Antony Blinken declaring it a “national security interest“.
This comes amid a regional realignment after Iran and Saudi Arabia re-established diplomatic ties after years of animosity.
On Wednesday, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) told US channel Fox News: “Every day we get closer” to a normalisation deal with Israel.
So what are Saudi Arabia’s conditions for normalisation?
Riyadh wants a US defence pact – including fewer restrictions on US arms sales to it – and assistance in developing its own civilian nuclear programme.
It also said any deal would require major progress towards the creation of a Palestinian state, which is a hard sell for the most religious and far-right nationalist government in Israel’s history.