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Saudi Arabia says there will be no diplomatic relations with Israel without an independent Palestinian state

CAIRO: Saudi Arabia has told the US its position stands that there will be no diplomatic relations with Israel unless an independent Palestinian state is recognised on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem, and Israeli “aggression” on the Gaza Strip stops, the Saudi foreign ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, White House National Security spokesperson John Kirby said that the Biden administration has received positive feedback that Saudi Arabia and Israel are willing to continue to have normalisation discussions.

The kingdom issued the statement to affirm its steadfast position to Washington on the Palestinian issue in the light of the comments attributed to Kirby, the ministry said.

The idea of Israel and Saudi Arabia formally cementing ties has been under discussion since the Saudis gave their quiet assent to Gulf neighbours United Arab Emirates and Bahrain establishing ties with Israel in 2020.

Saudi Arabia put US-backed plans to normalise ties with Israel on ice, sources familiar with Riyadh’s thinking told Reuters in Oct, 2023, as the war between Palestinian group Hamas and Israeli forces escalated.