search

MBS: Israel a ‘potential ally,’ Palestinian issue must be solved before normalization

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, speaks during the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on December 14, 2021. (Bandar Aljaloud/Saudi Royal Palace via AP)
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, speaks during the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on December 14, 2021. (Bandar Aljaloud/Saudi Royal Palace via AP)

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman calls Israel a “potential ally,” and says in a wide-ranging interview that he wants to “work it out” with Iran

The de facto leader, 36, also calls the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi “a huge mistake” for which he was unfairly blamed, and revealed a penchant for the hit TV series “Game of Thrones.”

“For us, we hope that the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians is solved,” the prince tells The Atlantic, according to a transcript issued by the official Saudi Press Agency.

“We don’t look at Israel as an enemy, we look to them as a potential ally, with many interests that we can pursue together… But we have to solve some issues before we get to that.”

Saudi Arabia does not have diplomatic relations with Israel, but in 2020 Gulf allies Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates normalized ties with the Jewish state.

The normalization deals under the US-brokered Abraham Accords angered the Palestinians, who condemned them as a “stab in the back.”

Saudi relations with Israel’s arch-foe Iran, blamed by Gulf states for creating chaos in the region, have at the same time shown signs of improvement with several rounds of talks hosted by Iraq.

“They are neighbors. Neighbors forever. We cannot get rid of them, and they can’t get rid of us,” the prince said of Iran.

“So it’s better for both of us to work it out and to look for ways in which we can coexist,” the transcript said he told the US monthly publication.

“Hopefully, we can reach a position that’s good for both countries and is going to create a brighter future for this country and Iran,” he added.

Saudi Arabia has repeatedly said it would stick to the decades-old Arab League position of not establishing official ties with Israel until the conflict with the Palestinians is resolved.

Prince Mohammed has, however, seemed more open than his father, King Salman, towards Israel, allowing its commercial aircraft to pass through Saudi air space.

Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed
image
Register for free
and continue reading
Registering also lets you comment on articles and helps us improve your experience. It takes just a few seconds.
Already registered? Enter your email to sign in.
Please use the following structure: example@domain.com
Or Continue with
By registering you agree to the terms and conditions. Once registered, you’ll receive our Daily Edition email for free.
Register to continue
Or Continue with
Log in to continue
Sign in or Register
Or Continue with
check your email
Check your email
We sent an email to you at .
It has a link that will sign you in.