Secretary Blinken Suggests ‘Extraordinary’ Potential for Peace between Israel and Saudi Arabia

 There is an “extraordinary opportunity” in the months ahead for Israel to be integrated into the Middle East as Arab countries are willing to normalize ties with the country, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Saturday.

Speaking at a panel at the Munich Security Conference, Blinken also highlighted the “urgent” imperative to proceed with a Palestinian state that would also ensure the security of Israel.

Last month, the Saudi ambassador to the UK Khalid bin Bandar Al Saud told the BBC Saudi Arabia is interested in normalization with Israel following the conclusion of the IDF’s war on Hamas in Gaza.

However, the envoy said, Saudi Arabia had one condition – the creation of a Palestinian State. According to the ambassador, before the October 7 massacre, both countries were close to reaching an agreement.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and President Isaac Herzog meet at the Munich Security Conference in Germany on February 17, 2024 (credit: THOMAS KIENZLE/Pool via REUTERS)

Blinken: Ending Gaza war, two-state path needed for Saudi deal with Israel

Last week, during his visit to Israel, Blinken told reporters in Tel Aviv that Saudi normalization with Israel is dependent on an end to the Gaza war and Israel’s willingness to embark on the path to a two-state resolution to the conflict.

“When I saw the Crown Prince [Mohammed Bin Salman] in Saudi Arabia just a couple of days ago, he repeated to me his desire and determination to pursue normalization,” Blinken said as he referred to his visit to the Kingdom on Monday night as part of his weeklong trip to the region.

Bin Salman repeated that normalization required two things, Blinken said, “One, there needs to be calm in Gaza; two, there needs to be a clear and credible pathway to a Palestinian state.”


Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report.