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US national security advisor says work still needed on Israel-Saudi deal

Sullivan says there is ‘broad understanding of key elements’

U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan speaks to reporters during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, U.S., July 11, 2022. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

The parties in Saudi-Israel negotiations have a “broad understanding of many of the key elements,” but “there is still work to do,” White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said on Thursday.

Sullivan made his comments aboard Air Force One as part of U.S. President Joe Biden’s trip to attend the G20 summit in India.

“Many of the elements of a pathway to normalization are now on the table. We don't have a framework, we don't have the terms ready to be signed. There is still work to do,” Sullivan said.

The U.S. administration has invested more efforts into reaching agreements in recent weeks.

Earlier this week, a U.S. delegation headed by White House Middle East czar Brett McGurk landed in Saudi Arabia for continued negotiations between the United States and Saudi Arabia on a security agreement considered necessary before the Saudi Kingdom will agree to normalization with Israel

While visiting the kingdom, the U.S. team met with a Palestinian delegation that was there to discuss its conditions for normalization.

Sullivan, himself, visited the capital Riyadh last month and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken was there in June.

There has been a lot of media interest in the possible normalization deal between Israel and Saudi Arabia in recent weeks. However Sullivan on Tuesday told reporters that there was still no imminent breakthrough.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that normalization with Saudi Arabia to broaden the Abraham Accords is a goal of his administration. He has also stated that he believes normalization with the kingdom could help achieve peace with the Palestinians.

In August, National Security Spokesperson John Kirby also downplayed a Wall Street Journal report that an agreement was close.

“The report left the impression that the discussions are much more advanced than they really are. There is no agreed-upon framework or principles, but there is our commitment to continue the talks,” Kirby said at the time.

There have been several reports of progress, however, details about the negotiations and what the Saudi government is requiring to be part of a normalization agreement have not been disclosed.

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

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