Middle East

MBS tells Fox News that Saudi Arabia is ‘closer every day’ to normalising relations with Israel

Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has told Fox News that normalized relations with Israel are getting closer “every day.”

The crown prince’s interview with the right-wing news network comes as the White House attempts to broker a deal to open diplomatic relations between the two countries.

The negotiations have included discussions of US security guarantees and civilian nuclear help for Saudi Arabia, as well as Israeli concession to the Palestinians, according to Reuters.

“Every day we get closer,” he said in the interview about the normalisation of relations.

“For us, the Palestinian issue is very important. We need to solve that part,” he added. “And we have a good negotiations strategy til now.”

And he continued: “We got to see where we go. We hope that will reach a place that will ease the life of the Palestinians and get Israel as a player in the Middle East,.”

During the interview with Bret Baier, he said that if Iran, an adversary of both Saudi Arabia and Israel, obtained a nuclear bomb then his country would also “have to get one.”

“That’s a bad move,” he said. “If you use it, you got to have a big fight with the rest of the world.”

Asked what would happen if Iran did get a nuclear bomb, MBS said: “If they get one, we have to get one.”

A US intelligence report in 2021 concluded that the crown prince, who is commonly referred to as MBS, approved an operation to capture or kill Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman smiles as he arrives at the Elysee Palace in Paris on July 28, 2022 for a meeting with Emanuel Macron

(AFP via Getty Images)

“We assess that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman approved an operation in Istanbul, Turkey to capture or kill Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi,” the report’s executive summary states.

“We base this assessment on the Crown Prince’s control of decision-making in the Kingdom, the direct involvement of a key adviser and members of Muhammad bin Salman’s protective detail in the operation, and the Crown Prince’s support for using violent measures to silence dissidents abroad, including Khashoggi.”

Khashoggi, a US-based critic of Saudi Arabia’s leaders, walked into the country’s consulate in October 2018 in Istanbul where he was murdered.

During the Fox News interview, the Saudi leader touted his relationship with Joe Biden and said he found the president “sharp” and “really well-focused,” despite criticisms Mr Biden is too old to remain in the White House.

“The agenda between Saudi Arabia and America today, it’s really interesting and we have a really amazing relationship with President Biden,” the crown prince said.


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