No Israel relations without Palestinian state, says Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia on Tuesday told the US that Riyadh would not establish diplomatic relations with Israel without the creation of a Palestinian state, the Saudi Foreign Ministry said.

“There will be no diplomatic relations with Israel unless an independent Palestinian state is recognised,” the ministry said in a statement posted on X.

The kingdom also made clear that normalisation was dependent on the cessation of Israeli “aggression” and the withdrawal of all forces from the Gaza Strip.

On Tuesday, White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said that President Joe Biden’s administration was still working on bringing about normalisation between Saudi Arabia and Israel.

“We certainly received positive feedback from both sides that they’re willing to continue to have those discussions,” he said.

The kingdom issued the statement reaffirming its position to Washington on the Palestinian issue following Mr Kirby’s comments.

Normalisation between Israel and Saudi Arabia has been under discussion since the UAE and Bahrain established ties with Israel in 2020 through the Abraham Accords.

Saudi Arabia also wrote that UN Security Council permanent members should “expedite the recognition of the Palestinian state … so that the Palestinian people can obtain their legitimate rights and so that a comprehensive and just peace is achieved for all”.

However, talks stalled after the war in Gaza began, with the Israeli bombardment killing more than 27,400 people so far.

Israel launched military operations in Gaza after Hamas militants killed about 1,200 people and took about 240 hostages in an attack in October last year.

(Source: The National)