President Herzog: Normalisation with Saudi Arabia would be historic ‘game-changer’

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President Herzog: Normalisation with Saudi Arabia would be historic ‘game-changer’

'There is an option for normalisation with Saudi Arabia. This is a move that could bring about tremendous change, a historic game-changer,' Herzog said

Israeli President Isaac Herzog, Tel Aviv, March 13, 2023.(Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)
Israeli President Isaac Herzog, Tel Aviv, March 13, 2023.(Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

President Isaac Herzog said the deal on the table for normalisation between Israel and Saudi Arabia would be a historic game-changer and should be pursued. 

“Two days ago, I met with the U.S. National Security Advisor, Jake Sullivan, and heard from him what was officially announced yesterday—that there is an option for normalisation with Saudi Arabia. This is a move that could bring about tremendous change, a historic ‘game-changer’ that constitutes a victory over the empire of evil,” Herzog said.

“I very much hope that this possibility is being seriously considered, as the empire of evil sought on October 7 to destroy the chance for normalisation. Our struggle, in the end, is not only a fight against Hamas. It is a wider, strategic, global, and historic battle, and we must do everything to integrate into the grand vision of normalisation,” he added.

Jake Sullivan visited both Saudi Arabia and Israel in the past week to promote a deal that would see normalisation between the two countries in what would be a mega deal that would include a defence pact between Riyadh and Washington, as well as a path towards Palestinian statehood.

“The semi-final version of the draft strategic agreements between the kingdom and the United States of America, which are almost being finalised — and what is being worked on between the two sides in the Palestinian issue to find a credible path — were discussed,” a statement from the meeting between Sullivan and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman read.

The normalisation would include a two-state solution that “meets the aspirations and legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.”

But Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected such a plan last week after Benny Gantz demanded he approve a six-point strategy that would include normalisation with Saudi Arabia.

“Would Gantz support a Palestinian state as part of a normalisation process with Saudi Arabia?… Netanyahu opposes bringing the Palestinian Authority into Gaza, and establishing a Palestinian state that will inevitably be a terror state,” a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office said in response to Gantz’s demands.

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