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Saudi Arabia, Israel moving towards ‘framework’ for deal: US

'Everybody is going to have to do something,' says John Kirby
In this file photo, John Kirby, National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications, answers questions during the daily press briefing at the White House in Washington. Reuters
In this file photo, John Kirby, National Security Council Coordinator for Strategic Communications, answers questions during the daily press briefing at the White House in Washington. Reuters

Israel and Saudi Arabia are moving towards the outline of a historic US-brokered deal to normalise relations after decades of hostility, the White House said on Friday.

President Joe Biden is hoping to transform the Middle East — and score an election-year diplomatic victory — by securing recognition of the Jewish state by Saudi Arabia, the guardian of Islam’s two holiest sites.

“All sides have hammered out, I think, a basic framework for what, you know, what we might be able to drive at,” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters.

“But, as in any complex arrangement, as this will inevitably be, everybody is going to have to do something. And everybody is going to have to compromise on some things.”

The United States has urged its Middle East allies Israel and Saudi Arabia to normalise diplomatic relations, following on from similar deals involving the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco.

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince and de facto ruler, Mohammed bin Salman, recently said that the two sides were getting closer, as did Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Saudi Arabia has been seeking security guarantees, including reportedly a treaty, with the United States in return for normalising with Israel.

But the Palestinians have warned that they must be taken into account in any deal, saying there can be no peace in the Middle East without a two-state solution.

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