Prince Khalid bin Bandar, the Saudi ambassador to the UK, articulated this stance in a BBC interview, highlighting that while a deal was imminent, the recent conflict in Gaza led to a pause in negotiations.
The ambassador emphasized that Saudi Arabia’s commitment to normalization does not come at the expense of the Palestinian people.
He pointed out the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and the need for international intervention to end the fighting. Khalid bin Bandar also called for a more balanced UK stance towards Israel, citing concerns over a perceived bias.
Saudi Arabia, a pivotal Arab and Islamic nation, has not formally recognized Israel since its inception in 1948. A normalization deal would be a historic breakthrough.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, in a US TV interview, indicated progress towards an agreement but did not tie it to the establishment of a Palestinian state.