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Tue 19 Sep 2023 9:14 am - Jerusalem Time

Major difficulties face the Biden administration's discussions with Saudi Arabia about normalization

For nearly two years now, the Badin administration has been making great efforts to reach the conclusion of an agreement through its mediation between Saudi Arabia and Israel stipulating the establishment of normalized relations that will prepare for the conclusion of economic, technological, military and security agreements. However, these efforts, despite their intensity and continuity, have not reached the level at which Pat can even open the agreement signing room. If there was a draft that would be a framework for an upcoming agreement, even though the broad outlines of the agreement were drawn up more than once and these lines changed with each round of discussions in an attempt to achieve a breakthrough that would enable the Biden administration to announce and sign the agreement. The Biden administration has spared no effort on this issue, but most of its discussions are focused on the Saudi side, as if it is working by proxy for the benefit of Israel and the Netanyahu government. Perhaps what is important for the Biden administration is to achieve this agreement and make it public before next March, that is, before the US presidential elections, as a deal that buys the votes of American Jews for the benefit of the Democratic Party, and thus Biden will enjoy a second term in office.

The difficulties obstructing the American effort are not caused by Saudi Arabia, but primarily by Israel, which wants a free normalization agreement without a political price to pay to end the conflict and achieve a just and comprehensive peace in the Arab region based on giving the Palestinians their rights through the occupying state’s recognition of the right to self-determination for the Palestinians, thus ending the brutal occupation and establishing the state. Palestine and its capital, Jerusalem. (Anthony Blinken), the US Secretary of State, recently made an important statement in which he talked about the possibility of normalizing relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel in the future. He came recently during a press conference with his German counterpart (Annalina Baerbock) and said, “Although I see that normalization is possible, this matter is in the offing.” “All conditions are not guaranteed.” Today, the Saudi newspaper Elaph reported that the American administration informed Israel that Saudi Arabia had stopped discussions to reach a normalization agreement with American mediation because of Netanyahu’s adherence to the right-wing position and his refusal to make any political concession to the Palestinians and Netanyahu’s commitment to the demands of extremist Yemen (Ben Gvir and Smotrich). This is what undermined any possibility of rapprochement with the Palestinians and thus the Saudis. .

All of this came on the eve of the end of a round of American-Saudi discussions with a Palestinian delegation that had visited Riyadh, headed by Mr. Hussein Al-Sheikh, Secretary of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, who held separate discussions with an American delegation headed by the Biden administration’s envoy for Middle East affairs, Bert McFork and Barbara. Leaf) Assistant Secretary of State (Anthony Blinken) in the region and other discussions with a high-ranking delegation from Saudi Arabia. The discussions ended without any statement to the media, not even a single word. It seems that the Palestinians and Saudis agreed on the same points that there will be no normalization agreement except after the full implementation of the Arab Peace Initiative. Its provisions remain unchanged, and Israel announces its acceptance of the principle of the two-state solution. The truth is that Saudi Arabia is the one that supported the Palestinian position and made the Palestinian position stronger on this issue. It left the ball in the Palestinians’ court when Saudi Arabia expressed its vision on this issue that it stands by the Palestinian rights in full and without compromise. When Saudi Arabia acts in this manner, it is acting as a central state that leads The Islamic world means that its Arab and Islamic standing is not shaken, so it insists on its firm position on the Palestinian issue that there will be no free normalization agreement without the occupying state recognizing the full rights of the Palestinian people and without Israel implementing the Arab Peace Initiative. I believe that the return of normalization talks with Washington will not happen until after Israeli willingness to make concessions that will convince Saudi Arabia.

The Payne administration does not want to put pressure on the Netanyahu government regarding the issue of resolving the conflict on the basis of the principle of the two-state solution and the Arab Peace Initiative, because one of the most important conditions for Netanyahu’s coalition and its cohesion is not accepting a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Jerusalem or ending or halting Zionist settlement in the West Bank. On the contrary, accelerating settlement and consecrating Annexation is one of the most important provisions of the agreement between Netanyahu and the religious blocs that make up Netanyahu’s government. This week, the US National Security Advisor (Jake Sullivan) announced that President Biden will meet Netanyahu in the White House in the first meeting between the two men, and here I say that this is an occasion in which Biden can soon open the file of concessions to the Palestinians if this file is of American interest, but I doubt it. The research may focus on the Iranian issue, as Netanyahu desires, as well as the war on terrorism. Netanyahu may go to divert American attention from the important issue of achieving peace in the Middle East and focus on Iranian threats and Israel’s fears after Iran expelled IAEA inspectors and removed them from Iranian territory, which disturbs America and Israel alike, and here Netanyahu may succeed in reducing the time available to discuss concessions. What do the Palestinians have in exchange for normalization, as well as the issue of judicial reforms in Israel that would confiscate democracy, which is the basis of the partnership between the two countries?

Great difficulties are facing the Biden administration, especially after Saudi Arabia announced the cessation of discussions on this issue, which means that the Democrats may lose the presidential elections because of Israel’s policy and its way of dealing with the conflict and its refusal to make concessions to achieve peace with the Palestinians and because of Netanyahu’s agreements with (Ben Gvir and Smotrich), and apparently The efforts of both US Secretary of State Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan are facing a major wall of resistance that is difficult to overcome in two directions. The first is with the firm Saudi position, which does not care much about the normalization relationship that the Biden administration is trying to reach because the Kingdom, in its new policy, has opened the door to... His death was due to economic, security, political, military and oil relations with China and Russia. The second trend is the failure of the men of the American administration to persuade Netanyahu to agree to concessions to the Palestinians that would pave the way for a breakthrough in the issue of normalization. On the contrary, Anthony Blinken said that the Palestinians are raising their level of political ambition because of Saudi support and their failure to give up on fulfilling the provisions of the Arab Peace Initiative.

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Major difficulties face the Biden administration's discussions with Saudi Arabia about normalization