The U.S. Biden administration is reportedly seeking to establish a diplomatic breakthrough between Saudi Arabia and Israel by the end of 2023, according to statements made by two unnamed U.S. officials on Wednesday.
The unconfirmed report comes after U.S. Ambassador to Israel Thomas Nides recently told the Israel’s i24NEWS that diplomatic normalization between Israel and Saudi Arabia was “hugely important” for the Biden administration. In addition, Nides confirmed that the U.S. is currently “working with Israel to obtain that."
A potential Saudi-Israeli normalization agreement could also help boost the deteriorating American-Saudi diplomatic ties. The Saudis are reportedly interested in normalizing their ties with Israel while U.S. President Joe Biden is still in office, hoping it will cement bipartisan support in Washington.
The unnamed U.S. officials told Israeli media that diplomatic progress on the Saudi-Israel front ultimately depends on the outcome of Saudi-American relations.
While Saudi Arabia is allegedly pursuing closer military ties with the U.S., including access to advanced military systems, it is unclear whether the Biden administration will accommodate the request.
In early May, U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan traveled to Saudi Arabia hoping to mend the Biden administration’s strained ties with Riyadh. In addition, the visit was reportedly intended to prevent Saudi Arabia from realigning itself with America’s rivals, China and Russia. At the time, Sullivan revealed that Saudi-Israeli diplomatic normalization constituted a U.S. national security interest.
Tzachi Hanegbi, the head of Israel’s National Security Council and a close ally of Netanyahu, expressed hope that Washington would facilitate diplomatic normalization between Saudi Arabia and the Jewish state.
"There are those who say that there have been more than phone calls between Saudi and Israeli leaders. But what is important is that the United States lead a move adding Saudi Arabia to the Abraham Accords – normalization and peace with Israel. If that happens it will be a historic turning point," said Hanegbi.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.