US President Joe Biden has ruled out the possibility of an imminent agreement between Israel and Saudi Arabia to normalize relations between the two countries.
in an interview with CNN On Sunday, Biden said Tel Aviv and Riyadh are “far from reaching a normalization agreement” that would include a defense pact with the United States and a civilian nuclear program.
Biden explained, “We’re a long way from there. We have a lot to talk about.” CNN Fareed Zakaria.
Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, is a close ally of the United States but has repeatedly refused to normalize relations with US ally Israel because of its occupation of the Palestinian territories.
The US-brokered Abraham Accords in 2020 saw the kingdom’s neighbors – the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain – establish full diplomatic relations with Israel.
Israel’s energy minister last month expressed opposition to the idea of Saudi Arabia developing a civilian nuclear program as part of a US-mediated rapprochement between the countries.
Biden also highlighted Saudi Arabia’s decision to open its airspace to all air carriers ahead of his visit to the kingdom last summer, paving the way for more flights to Israel.
Biden said in the interview, “So, we’re making progress in this area. And it depends on the conduct and what we are asked to do to recognize Israel.”
“Frankly, I don’t think they have much of a problem with Israel. And whether or not we’ll provide a means by which they can obtain civilian nuclear power and/or guarantee their security is – I Looks like it’s a little far.”
Responding to a question regarding an invitation to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the White House, Biden said Israeli President Isaac Herzog is “coming to visit the White House soon”.
Speaking about the Israel–Palestine conflict, Biden said he believed a two-state solution was the right way forward in the conflict and criticized some of Netanyahu’s cabinet for his views on Israeli settlements in the West Bank. members criticized.
“The West Bank is no longer the whole of Israel, the whole of Israel’s problem, but they are a part of the problem, and especially those individuals in the cabinet who say, ‘We can settle wherever we want. “They have no right to be here, etc.,” Biden said. that Bibi will continue to move towards moderation and change.”