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Saudi Diplomat Lashes Out at Israel as Normalization Talks Continue 
Prince Turki bin Faisal Al Saud at the 50th Munich Security Conference in 2014. (Marc Muller/Wikimedia Commons)

Saudi Diplomat Lashes Out at Israel as Normalization Talks Continue 

Israel’s burgeoning love affair with the Arab world was slightly punctured on Sunday during Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi’s visit to the International Institute for Strategic Studies’ Manama Dialogue, a premier Middle East security summit held annually in Bahrain. Ashkenazi was caught off guard by Saudi Prince Turki bin Faisal Al Saud, Riyadh’s former ambassador to the United States and the United Kingdom, who called Israel a “Western colonizing” power and accused it of incarcerating Palestinians “in concentration camps… without recourse to justice” while pretending to be “peace-loving upholders of high moral principles.” Al Saud, who is considered aligned with Saudi King Salman, added that Israeli leaders assassinate “whomever they want,” and “unleash their political minions and their media outlets from other countries to denigrate and demonize Saudi Arabia.” Ashkenazi responded to the prince’s harsh words by saying they did not “reflect the spirit and the changes taking place in the Middle East.” Last month, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, who is said to be more pragmatic and open to recognizing Israel than his father. Israel recently normalized relations with Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Sudan.

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