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Saudi FM Says Israeli-Palestinian Peace Must Come Before Further Normalization

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan on Thursday skirted the question of an impending Israeli-Saudi normalization deal similar to the recently signed accords between the Jewish state and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, instead stressing the importance of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. In a virtual address to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Prince Faisal expressed his belief that “the only thing that can deliver lasting peace and lasting stability is an agreement between the Palestinians and the Israelis.” Earlier on his Washington tour, bin Farhan was urged by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to consider following his Gulf neighbors’ footsteps in normalizing relations with Israel. Saudi Arabia has remained ambivalent about the Abraham Accord signed last month, refraining from condemning them but at the same time indicating that the kingdom would not follow suit anytime soon.