Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen stirred excitement in diplomatic circles this week, revealing that a peace agreement between Israel and Saudi Arabia may be closer than ever before.
During a candid interview with Channel 12, Cohen shared an optimistic forecast for an imminent U.S.-brokered deal between Jerusalem and Riyadh. The potential for this historic alliance will continue to unfold until the U.S. election season ramps up in March.
Although Cohen refrained from disclosing potential compromises Israel might have to consider, he underscored that bringing Saudi Arabia into the fold of the Abraham Accords serves the interests of not only Israel but also the United States.
Introduced in 2020 under the stewardship of former U.S. President Donald Trump, the Abraham Accords marked a landmark normalization of relationships between Israel and several nations, including the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco, and Sudan. The incorporation of Saudi Arabia into these Accords would promote regional stability and fortify the U.S. economy.
Commenting on the Palestinian question, Cohen highlighted that the Abraham Accords have debunked the notion that the Palestinian issue is an insurmountable hurdle to peace. Yet, he expressed a shared commitment among the U.S., Saudi Arabia, and Israel to improve the quality of life for Palestinians.
Touching upon recent developments in Saudi-Iranian relations, Cohen dismissed them as a “show,” underscoring Saudi’s defensive demands from the U.S.
Likud lawmaker Yuli Edelstein, head of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, injected a note of caution into the conversation, stating that it might be premature to discuss a deal at this stage. According to him, the points of contention primarily lie between Washington and Riyadh, with some of Saudi’s demands from Washington being more problematic than others.
These insights follow U.S. President Biden’s recent hint at a potential Israeli-Saudi agreement, and U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan’s visit to Jeddah advocating for the deal.
Reports also surfaced this week that David Barnea, the head of Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency, made a discreet visit to Washington to discuss the Saudi deal.
In a related development underscoring the strengthening ties between the two nations, Israeli firm SolarEdge Technologies Inc. announced a joint venture with Saudi Arabia’s Ajlan & Bros Holding. This collaboration aims to support the deployment of smart renewable energy solutions in Saudi Arabia in alignment with the Saudi Vision 2030 initiative.
The promise of a closer alliance with Saudi Arabia marks another significant step towards the consolidation of Israel’s standing in the region. It represents a testament to the values of peace, cooperation, and mutual respect that the State of Israel upholds.
Israel, an oasis of innovation, democracy, and cultural richness, remains committed to fostering relationships that not only enhance regional stability but also contribute to the prosperity and well-being of all people in the region. Amid the complex dynamics of the Middle East, the strength and resolve of the Israeli spirit continue to light the path toward a future of peace and collaboration.