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Arab plan for ‘The Day After’? - Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and PA met for secret talks

Saudi Arabia still interested in normalization with Israel after war in Gaza

Palestinians at the site of a destroyed building from an Israeli air strike in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, on January 27, 2024. (Photo: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

Secret talks in the Saudi capital of Riyadh 10 days ago involved a discussion about plans for the day after the war in Gaza, according to an Axios news media report.

Axios reported that leaders from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, along with officials from the Palestinian Authority (PA), met to discuss proposals for rehabilitating the PA so it could be allowed to participate in governing after the war ends. 

According to the report, Saudi Arabia's National Security Advisor Musaed bin Mohammed Al-Aiban hosted the meeting and invited the director of General Intelligence Services (GIS), Maj.-Gen. Majed Faraj. Their counterparts from Egypt and Jordan were also present. 

Al-Aiban reportedly told Faraj that serious reforms in the PA are necessary for it to participate in any future 'day after' governance. This message was echoed by the Egyptian and Jordanian security chiefs. 

The Arab states also requested that the office of the prime minister be strengthened by giving it some of the authority currently held by the PA President Mahmoud Abbas, the leader of the Fatah party, who has gradually consolidated power in his hands over the years. 

The Arab states want to see reforms leading to a more balance government.  

One of the clear statements made by the Saudi national security advisor was that the Saudi Kingdom is still interested in normalizing relations with Israel after the war. 

While the U.S. Biden administration has attempted to link normalization between Israel and Saudi Arabia to the creation of a Palestinian state, the Saudis are reportedly willing to move forward with normalization efforts in exchange for firm and irrevocable steps by Israel towards the creation of a Palestinian state. 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly opposed the creation of a sovereign Palestinian state throughout his terms as premier. 

While neither Israel nor the United States were invited to the meeting, Axios claimed that officials from both nations were briefed about the meeting after the fact. 

The Axios report comes as U.S.-led efforts to reach a hostage exchange deal between Israel and Hamas, along with Egyptian leaders, has yet to produce results. 

Axios contacted the embassies of Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Jordan for an official comment, however, none of the embassies responded. 

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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