Three years after the Abraham Accords, Israel is pursuing formal relations with Saudi Arabia, a major influence in the Middle East and globally.
The nation has significant business and religious influence. Secret meetings between the two countries have happened for years.
Still, Saudi Arabia has not officially recognized Israel. This is partly due to its long-term support for the Palestinians.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants to add Saudi Arabia to a special list.
This list already includes Egypt, Jordan, and several countries joined via the Abraham Accords. Netanyahu spoke about this goal at a New Year’s event.
Some recent events show relations are warming. Israeli businesspeople attended a cybersecurity conference in Damam, Saudi Arabia.
An Israeli group also took part in a UNESCO meeting in Riyadh.
Experts think a peace deal between the two countries would be a big win for Israel. It would boost diplomatic, economic, and strategic standing.
Talks at a recent G20 summit hinted at progress. Yet, the U.S. says Saudi Arabia wants significant moves toward the Palestinians first.
The Palestinian Authority has changed its initial negative view of the Accords. It sent a high-level team to Riyadh recently.
Most experts agree that Saudi Arabia will push Israel to make big moves to help the Palestinians.
Inside Israel, a deal with Saudi Arabia could cause political issues. Some right-wing leaders might resist giving in to the Palestinians.
Observers believe U.S. pressure on Israel could trigger changes in the Israeli government.
In conclusion, experts say a deal with Saudi Arabia could affect Israel’s foreign and local politics.
The Abraham Accords were signed in 2020. They aimed to normalize relations between Israel and some Arab states.
The first countries to join were the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. Morocco and Sudan followed them. These deals broke decades of tension in the region.
Saudi Arabia is a founding member of the Arab League. The League has opposed Israel since its creation in 1948.
Peace with Saudi Arabia would thus be a historic shift. The country holds Mecca, Islam’s holiest site. This gives it a unique role in the Muslim world.