Saudi Arabia says no diplomatic ties with Israel unless Gaza conflict ends, Palestinian state recognised

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Saudi Arabia said it has told the US administration that the kingdom won’t have diplomatic relations with Israel unless the latter stops its “aggressions” in the Gaza Strip and an independent Palestinian state is established. The Saudi Foreign Ministry made the remarks in a statement on Wednesday refuting the White House’s saying that both Israel and Saudi Arabia gave “positive feedback” on normalising relations, Xinhua news agency reported.

The Ministry affirmed the kingdom’s unwavering support for the Palestinian issue and the necessity that Palestinian people obtain their legitimate rights. There will be no diplomatic ties with Israel unless an independent Palestinian state is recognised on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, and all Israeli occupation forces withdraw from Gaza, it noted.

In an online press briefing on Tuesday, a day after US Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Saudi Arabia, US National Security Council Spokesman John Kirby said the US government had been engaging in discussions with Israel and Saudi Arabia on “normalisation arrangement,” before and after the current Israel-Hamas conflict broke out on October 7, 2023.

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Kirby added, “Those discussions are ongoing as well,” confirming “positive feedback from both sides that they’re willing to continue to have those discussions”.