US reaches preliminary agreement for Saudi Arabia to recognize Israel: report

The U.S. and Saudi Arabia have come to an agreement in principle on a deal that would see the country formally recognize Israel, according to a new report. The deal, first reported by the Wall Street Journal, would see the recognition come in exchange for concessions to Palestinians, U.S. assistance in building a civilian nuclear program in Saudi Arabia and with U.S. security guarantees. U.S. officials reportedly told the Journal that the Biden administration wants Saudi Arabia to assure them that they will have economic and military distance from China. The discussions reportedly began in earnest after National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Jeddah in late July.  The State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News Digital. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office also did not immediately respond. NETANYAHU OFFERS TO NEGOTIATE JUDICIAL REFORMS THROUGH NOVEMBER, ISSUES ‘CALL FOR PEACE AND MUTUAL RESPECT’ National Security Council spokesman John Kirby, speaking to reporters on Wednesday, fielded a question about whether there have been talks between Saudi Arabia and Israel. Kirby said he did not have any information about this but said the administration would be supportive. “I don’t know. That’s really a question that would have to be put to the Israelis or the Saudis. We certainly encourage a process towards normalization,” Kirby said. “We certainly encourage bilateral dialog between those two countries. But really, the degree to which there is or isn’t, that kind of conversation is really for them to speak to.” BIDEN DROVE ‘HISTORICALLY’ CLOSE MIDDLE EAST ALLIES INTO THE ARMS OF AMERICA’S GREATEST ENEMIES, EXPERTS SAY Kirby also noted that President Biden has plans to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu some time “in the fall … somewhere in the United States,” with details yet to be finalized. The two leaders have yet to meet face to face since Netanyahu began his current term. An agreement between the three countries would follow a rocky few years for relations between President Biden’s administration and Saudi Arabia. White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre framed the regime as “siding with Russia” in late 2022 after it decided to cut oil production despite U.S. requests not to. Biden had also come into office vowing make a “pariah” of the Saudis due to their human rights record, but he then paid a visit to the kingdom in mid-2022. U.S. officials reportedly hope to finalize the Saudi deal within nine to 12 months. Negotiations for the deal come after former President Donald Trump’s administration negotiated the Abraham Accords, which saw a number of Arab countries formalize ties with Israel.
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