US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Friday that the Saudi leadership was keeping the Palestinians in mind in the efforts of President Joe Biden’s administration for peace with Israel.
“It’s clear from my own conversations, for example, with Saudi leadership that any agreement that might be reached between Israel and Saudi Arabia when it comes to normalization would need to include a significant component for the Palestinians,” Blinken said during a press conference with his German counterpart, Annalena Baerbock in Washington.
He added that normalization between Israel and Saudi Arabia, if achieved, would be a “transformative event in the Middle East and well beyond.”
“Moving from a region of turmoil to one of much greater stability and integration would have profound benefits for people in the region and, I believe, profound benefits for people around the world,” he stated.
Blinken continued: “Having a region defined by normalized relations between Israel, its neighbors, and countries beyond; defined by integration and people working together in common cause on common projects that will benefit and improve people’s lives, I think, would be a singularly positive event.”
He explained that his talks with the Saudi leadership concluded that any agreement that might be reached between Israel and Saudi Arabia “would need to include a significant component for the Palestinians.”
The senior US diplomat noted, however, that the details of any agreement in terms of what the different parties are looking for are challenging.
“So while I believe it is very much possible, it is not at all a certainty. But we believe that the benefit that would accrue were we able to achieve it would certainly be worth the effort,” he told the press conference.
Blinken said that while normalization would be “very much to the benefit of the United States and many other countries around the world, as well as the countries in question, it’s also very clear that there may well be specific things that will be important for us with regard both to Saudi Arabia and to Israel, as well as things they will need from each other, as well as things that other parties may well need.”