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Israel aims for deal with Saudi Arabia before Biden leaves office

Netanyahu's office reportedly told US it doesn't trust Trump to get the peace deal through Congress

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, US President Joe Biden (Photo: Facebook, GPO, Shutterstock)

Israel wants to get a U.S.-backed peace deal with Saudi Arabia completed before the end of President Joe Biden's term in office, according to Israeli media reports.

The State of Israel has sent messages to the United States through Saudi channels to that effect, Haaretz reported and stressed that it doesn't believe that former U.S. President Donald Trump, if re-elected, could garner enough bi-partisan support to facilitate such a deal.

The Israeli Prime Minister's office has denied reports, saying: “There was no such message,” a spokesperson told The Times of Israel.

The Saudis reportedly won't be satisfied with a deal negotiated by presidential decree, as it could be overturned by the next president.

A formal treaty between countries requires support by two-thirds of the U.S. Senate.

The deal between Israel and Saudi Arabia to fully normalize relations is expected to be included in the framework of the larger U.S.-Saudi deal, which is being discussed between Washington and Riyadh.

Such a deal could include a mutual defense treaty, as well as U.S. approval of a Saudi civilian nuclear program.

Israel, therefore, doesn't intend to wait for a possible second term for Trump, who was America's top chief in 2020 when the historic Abraham Accords were signed between Israel and a number of Arab nations, however, it is thought to be unlikely to receive the support of two-thirds of the Senate.

According to the latest New York Times/Siena poll, both Biden and Trump are head-to-head in the race for the 2024 U.S. presidential election.

Despite the official denial, if Israel is convinced of the need to finish a deal before the end of Biden's term in office, it would explain the numerous statements by Israeli politicians in recent months.

Just last Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu linked an Israeli railway project worth NIS 100 billion (over $27 billion) with a potential Israeli-Saudi deal.

“In the future, we will be able to transport cargoes of goods by train from Eilat to our ports in the Mediterranean Sea, and we will also be able to connect Israel by train to Saudi Arabia and the Arabian Peninsula. We are working on that too,” Netanyahu said.

The week prior, Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said that “Israel is interested in advancing a peace agreement with Saudi Arabia. This is an attainable agreement…the Saudis are interested in it, as well.”

On that occasion, Cohen had mentioned that by Israel's estimation, a deal should be closed by March 2024, because after that, the Biden administration would be too focused on the re-election campaign, according to The Jerusalem Post.

Meanwhile, the cooperation between Israel and Saudi Arabia in the business world is growing steadily. Last Tuesday, the Israeli company "SolarEdge" and the Saudi company "Ajlan & Bros Holding (ABH)" announced they would work together to provide Saudi Arabia with renewable and smart energy, reducing its dependence on oil.

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

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