Netanyahu: Normalisation with Saudi not linked to creation of Palestinian state

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a cabinet meeting at the Prime Minister's office in Jerusalem, on July 2, 2023 [RONEN ZVULUN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said yesterday that reaching a normalisation deal with Saudi Arabia is not conditional on creating a Palestinian state, Israeli public broadcaster Kan reported.

Meanwhile, Bloomberg reported Netanyahu saying that Israel and Saudi Arabia will deepen economic and business ties even if they don't formally recognise each other.

Netanyahu said he is confident he can strike a deal with the Saudis under which the countries have official diplomatic relations.

Without one, the two can still build an "economic corridor" running from the Arabian Peninsula to Europe that encompasses energy, transport and communications technology, he explained.

At the same time, Netanyahu implied that the Saudis are note specially concerned about what the Palestinians get out of a potential deal.

"I think the Palestinian thing is brought in all the time, and itis sort of a check box. You have to check it to say that you are doing it," he said, noting that conversations about the Palestinians occur in closed meetings "a lot less than you think."

OPINION: Why are Israel and Saudi Arabia heading for normalisation, and what might stop it?

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