The effort to normalize relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia is not dead, even as war intensifies between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas, President Biden told 60 Minutes late last week.
“The Saudis, and the Emiratis, and other Arab nations understand that their security and stability is enhanced if there’s normalization of relations with Israel,” Mr. Biden told 60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley.
The U.S. had been working toward an agreement that would normalize relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel. As part of the deal, the U.S. would offer Riyadh a defense treaty and help developing its own civilian nuclear program. Details about the deal were first reported by The New York Times.
In light of the conflict, sources close to Riyadh say that Saudi Arabia is pausing the Israeli normalization efforts and beginning to engage with Iran. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi spoke on Wednesday, as Saudi Arabia said it attempts to prevent the violence from escalating across the region. It was the first contact between bin Salman and Raisi since China brokered a deal to resume ties between Saudi Arabia and Iran in March.
In the 60 Minutes interview, Mr. Biden told Pelley the deal between Saudi Arabia and Israel would eventually move forward.
“Look, it’s just going to take time to get done,” Mr. Biden said. “It’s going to take time. But the direction, moving into the normalization makes sense for the Arab nations as well as Israel.”
Source: CBS News