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Netanyahu again declares his goal of ending the Arab-Israeli conflict via Saudi Abraham Accords



US Senator Lindsey Graham, left, and Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Monday, April 17, 2023 [Courtesy Getty Images].


Jerusalem (CC) - On Monday, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu again declared his desire for normalization with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: "We want normalization and peace with Saudi Arabia. We view that as perhaps a giant leap towards ending the Arab-Israeli conflict. This agreement could have monumental consequences, historic consequences both for Israel, for Saudi Arabia, for the region and for the world."


Perhaps the Prime Minister was referring to the idea that an Israeli detente with Saudi Arabia will lead to Israel's rapprochement with Palestine.


Last December while serving as Israel's Prime Minister-designate, Mr. Netanyahu pledged to pursue formal Israeli ties with Riyadh for what he said would be a "quantum leap" in peace.


In January of this year, Netanyahu's office revealed that he and visiting White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan had discussed "the next steps to deepen the Abraham Accords and expand the circle of peace, with an emphasis on a breakthrough with Saudi Arabia".


The Abraham Accords are normalization deals between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain that started during former US President Donald Trump's administration.


On Monday in Jerusalem, Netanyahu met with another American official, US Senator Lindsey Graham who said: "I told Saudi Arabia I'd like to upgrade our relationship. We have to do it in a way that would be reassuring to our friends in Israel. I want to help President Biden. I told the Crown Prince that the best time to upgrade our relationship is now, that President Biden is very interested in normalizing relationships with Saudi Arabia and in turn, Saudi Arabia recognizing the one and only Jewish state. To the extent I can help make that happen, I will do it."


The U.S.-Saudi relationship has frayed under President Joe Biden's administration.


“We get into presidential politics back home...the sooner we can change the relationship with Saudi Arabia the better...2023 is a year of great opportunity and great challenge,” Graham said.


Referring to the possible detente with Saudi Arabia, Netanyahu added: "We welcome, obviously, the American participation by President Biden, by support from both sides of the aisle in Congress."


Netanyahu is fond of Graham, who visited Israel in May 2021. Back then, Netanyahu called Senator Graham "a loyal supporter of our alliance and we have no better friend. There is no person who has done more for Israel than you." the prime minister said. "I want to thank you for everything you have done over the years on the issues of Israel's defense and security, as well as on the Iranian issue."


Ironically, Israel's bitter enemy Iran recently re-established ties with Saudi Arabia - a detente struck in Beijing. And China has recently been at odds with the United States.




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