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Saudi Arabia: After Iran, now Israel?

New Conditions for a Saudi-Israeli Rapprochement

It would be the deal of the century - but so far it is still a long way off. An agreement between Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United States on the recognition of the Jewish state by the guardian of Islam's holiest sites would be a political earthquake in the region and beyond. Not only could it transform the already existing unofficial cooperation between Israel and Saudi Arabia into a new regional political alliance while also complicating the recent rapprochement between Saudi Arabia and Iran. It might also cement the decades-old alliance between Riyadh and Washington and counter current trends in international geopolitics, particularly the Gulf states' strategic orientation toward China. But while U.S. policymakers are already dreaming of a foreign policy coup, major hurdles to rapprochement remain: Riyadh wants advanced weapons, a civilian nuclear program and security guarantees from the United States. And last but not least, concessions from Israel in the conflict with the Palestinians.

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Contact Person

Philipp Dienstbier

Philipp Dienstbier

Director of the Regional Programme Gulf States

philipp.dienstbier@kas.de +962 6 59 24 150
Country Reports
Reuters / China Daily CDIC
March 21, 2023
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