Saudi Arabia could recognise Israel if Palestinian issue resolved: Saudi FM

Saudi israel minister

DAVOS: Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud said on Tuesday that Saudi Arabia can recognise Israel if the Palestinian issue is resolved.

The Saudi FM was part of a panel during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. During the panel, he was asked whether Saudi Arabia would recognise Israel as part of a wider agreement after a resolution of the Palestinian conflict. Faisal bin Farhan said “certainly”.

“We agree that regional peace includes peace for Israel,
but that could only happen through peace for the Palestinians
through a Palestinian state,” the Saudi FM said.

Asked if Saudi Arabia would then recognise Israel as
part of a wider political agreement, he said: “Certainly.”

Prince Faisal said securing regional peace through the
creation of a Palestinian state was “something we have been
indeed working on with the US administration, and it is more
relevant in the context of Gaza”.

Read more: Mental strain, deepening risks as Israel’s war with Hamas enters 100 days

Securing a normalisation deal with Saudi Arabia would be
the grand prize for Israel after it established diplomatic ties
with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco, and could
transform the geopolitics of the Middle East.

The Sunni Muslim kingdom, the most powerful country in
the Arab world and home to the most sacred sites in Islam,
wields considerable religious clout across the globe.

After the eruption of war last October between Israel
and the militant group Hamas that rules Gaza, Saudi
Arabia put on ice US-backed plans for the kingdom to normalise
ties with Israel, two sources familiar with Riyadh’s thinking
said, in a swift reordering of of its diplomatic priorities.

The two sources told Reuters there would be some delay
in the US-backed talks on normalisation of Saudi-Israel ties,
which is seen as a key step for the kingdom to secure what it
considers the real prize of a US defence pact in exchange.


Before October 7, when Iran-backed Hamas fighters launched
an attack on southern Israel, both Israeli and Saudi leaders had
signaled they were moving steadily towards establishing
diplomatic relations that could have reshaped the Middle East.

The Palestinians want a state in territories captured by
Israel in a 1967 war, with East Jerusalem as their capital.
US-sponsored negotiations with Israel on achieving that
stalled more than a decade ago.

Read more: Israel cabinet passes amended 2024 budget adding $15 billion for war

Among the hurdles have been Israeli settlement of
occupied land and feuding between Western-backed Palestinian
authorities and Hamas, who reject coexistence with

“There is a pathway towards a much better future for the
region, for the Palestinians, and for Israel, that is peace, and
we are fully committed to that,” said Prince Faisal.

“… a ceasefire on all sides should be a starting point
for permanent sustainable peace, which can only happen through
justice to the Palestinian people.”

Israel’s hard-right government has played down the
prospect of it making significant concessions to the
Palestinians as part of any potential normalisation deal with
Saudi Arabia.

The war in Gaza started when Hamas militants stormed
into southern Israel on October 7, killing 1,200 people and taking
240 hostages. Israel says more than 130 remain in captivity.

Israel responded to Hamas’ assault with a siege,
bombardment and ground invasion of Gaza that have devastated the
tiny coastal territory and killed, Palestinian health officials
say, more than 24,000 people.

The war has raised fears of wider regional instability.
Lebanon’s Iran-backed Hezbollah have frequently clashed along
the border with Israel, while pro-Iranian militias have attacked
US targets in Iraq.

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