Normalization of relations with Saudi Arabia is imminent, Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said, according to Israeli local media.
Speaking to Ynet, the online news site of Yedioth Ahronot newspaper, Cohen claimed that the normalization of relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia is "close" and a "matter of time".
"(US President Joe) Biden's administration wants a political success ahead of the 2024 presidential elections," Cohen said, arguing that "the deal is also in the interest of the United States."
"The Americans are also interested in the economy, and an agreement between the US and the Saudis could lower energy costs. The Saudis are also looking for defense against Iran,” Cohen added.
"We are at a point where the interests of the United States, Saudi Arabia, and Israel converge, so the reports in the press that talk about a deal in nine months to a year seem to me to be correct," he emphasized.
Cohen's positive outlook on the possibility of normalization with Riyadh followed a contrary statement from the US administration.
The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported that the US and Saudi Arabia had agreed on the broad contours of a deal that would include Saudi Arabia's recognition of Israel in exchange for "Israeli concessions to the Palestinians, US security guarantees to Riyadh and support for its civilian nuclear program."
White House National Security Council Strategic Communications Coordinator John Kirby emphasized yesterday that, contrary to reports, there was no agreed set of negotiations.
"I think this news has left some people with the impression that the talks are at a more advanced and definitive stage than they actually are," he said.
"There are a lot of negotiations that need to take place before we get to that. Long story short, there is no agreed set of negotiations. There is no agreed framework for arranging normalization or other security considerations that we and our friends have in the region," Kirby highlighted.
Source: Anadolu Agency