Thursday, May 18, 2023

Report: Biden Pushing For Israel - Saudi Deal By End Of The Year

The White House wants to make a diplomatic push for a Saudi-Israeli peace deal in the next six to seven months before the presidential election campaign consumes President Joe Biden’s agenda, two US officials with knowledge of the issue told Axios’ Barak Ravid on Wednesday.

Any normalization agreement between Saudi Arabia and Israel brokered by the US will likely include an upgrade in US-Saudi relations and a package of tangible deliverables from the US government.

Such a deal could be unpopular among Democrats due to the tensions with the Saudis over the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, but a deal could be a historic breakthrough in Middle East peace, leading to a domino effect of more Arab and Muslim-majority countries normalizing relations with Israel.

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, who is known as MBS, last week in Jeddah and, among other issues, discussed the possibility of Saudi-Israeli normalization, the US officials said.

After the meeting, White House Middle East czar Brett McGurk and Biden’s senior adviser Amos Hochstein traveled to Jerusalem and briefed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

According to the two US officials, Sullivan told MBS the U.S. thinks there is an opportunity to get a Saudi-Israeli deal by the end of the year.

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