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For Israel, normalization with Saudi Arabia not impossible

Israel is cautiously optimistic about US efforts to push Saudi Arabia towards normalization.
Joe Biden in Saudi Arabia

TEL AVIV — After a May 7 meeting in Riyadh between US, Saudi, Indian and Emirati national security advisers, and an ensuing meeting in Jerusalem between US and Israeli senior officials, Israel is cautiously optimistic about rapprochement with Saudi Arabia.

The meeting in Riyadh focused on advancing a regional rail/ship interconnection framework, which Israel is also interested in becoming part of. And while Israel was not invited to Riyadh, the Biden administration is keeping it in the loop. 

In another sign of advancing on that track, Axios reported on Tuesday that Ronen Levy, director general of the Israeli Foreign Ministry, arrived in Washington for talks with Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman and White House senior adviser of energy Amos Hochstein, for strengthening and expanding the Abraham Accords. 

Truth be told, with Israel under the rule of the most nationalist government in its history, the continued rapid US withdrawal from the Middle East and almost all the region’s Sunni states on a reconciliation course with Iran, the dream of peace between Israel and Saudi Arabia should have been relegated to the realm of science fiction. Surprisingly, it remains real. 

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