Blinken: US-Saudi Deal Could Be ‘Weeks Away’

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (AFP)
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (AFP)
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Blinken: US-Saudi Deal Could Be ‘Weeks Away’

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (AFP)
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (AFP)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced Wednesday that the US and Saudi Arabia are very close to finalizing key defense and civil nuclear agreements.

Speaking at a hearing in the House of Representatives, Blinken said the finalizing of the agreements “could be weeks away” but cautioned that for the wider normalization to proceed, there must be calm in Gaza and the formulation of a pathway for Palestinian statehood.

Earlier, US officials hinted that the deals were near.

After National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan’s recent Middle East visit, a senior official mentioned that the agreements would include US defense guarantees for Saudi Arabia and advanced weapons.

The deal might also involve a civil nuclear agreement and the potential sale of F-35 fighter jets and other advanced arms.

Saudi Arabia’s Clear Demands

Blinken said on Tuesday that while US-Saudi agreements are almost complete, further steps from Israel are needed.

“In order for normalization to proceed, Saudi Arabia has made very clear that even with the agreements between us completed, they have to have two things: they have to have calm in Gaza and they have to have a credible pathway to a Palestinian state,” Blinken told the House Appropriations Committee.

He added that Israel must decide if it wants to pursue normalized relations with its regional neighbors, a goal since its founding.

Sullivan, in a White House press conference after his Middle East tour, reiterated President Joe Biden’s support for a two-state solution.

He stated this approach is key to ensuring long-term security and stability in the region, providing safety for Israel and a dignified future for Palestinians.

Sullivan mentioned discussing this vision with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Saudi Arabia.

Former US Middle East envoy Dennis Ross stressed the importance of a potential US-Saudi agreement, describing it as aligned with the needs and interests of both countries.

Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat, Ross highlighted the significance of this deal.

Steven Cook, Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, echoed this sentiment, calling the agreement “extremely important.”

Cook explained that the agreement would formally link US and Saudi security, which has been informal until now.

He added that it would surpass Saudi Arabia’s current relations with China and send a strong message to Iran, which will likely test the agreement at the first opportunity.



Muslim World League Welcomes Armenia's Recognition of State of Palestine

Muslim World League Welcomes Armenia's Recognition of State of Palestine
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Muslim World League Welcomes Armenia's Recognition of State of Palestine

Muslim World League Welcomes Armenia's Recognition of State of Palestine

The Muslim World League (MWL) welcomed Armenia’s decision to recognize the State of Palestine, reported the Saudi Press Agency on Saturday.

In a statement, MWL Secretary General Dr. Mohammed Al-Issa emphasized that this decision, along with similar ones, “clearly reflects a growing global recognition of the injustices faced by the Palestinian people and their fundamental right to self-determination and an independent state.”

He commended “the responsible and noble stance of all the countries that have taken this important and just step, urging all countries of the world to follow suit in support of the human and legal rights of the Palestinian people.”