(AFP) – The White House announced on Friday that Israel and Saudi Arabia are nearing an agreement to normalize relations after decades of enmity.
President Joe Biden hopes to alter the Middle East — and score an election-year diplomatic success — by gaining Saudi Arabia’s recognition of the Jewish state, which guards Islam’s two holiest sites.
“All sides have hammered out, I think, a basic framework for what, you know, what we might be able to drive at,” said National Security Council spokesman John Kirby to reporters.
“However, as with any complex arrangement, as this will inevitably be, everyone will have to do something.” And everyone will have to make some concessions.”
Following previous agreements with the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Morocco, the United States has pushed its Middle Eastern allies Israel and Saudi Arabia to normalize diplomatic relations.
Both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler, Mohammed bin Salman, recently said that the two sides were advancing toward each other.
In exchange for normalizing relations with Israel, Saudi Arabia has allegedly asked the United States for security assurances, including a treaty.
However, the Palestinians have cautioned that any agreement must take them into consideration and that a two-state solution is necessary for Middle East peace.