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What does Saudi Arabia’s position on Palestinian state signal to US, Israel?

The kingdom's statement released on Wednesday attempts to send multiple messages, some directed at Saudi Arabia's internal public opinion, others to the Biden administration and Netanyahu government.
BERTRAND GUAY/AFP via Getty Images

RIYADH — The Saudi leadership has made statements about Palestinian statehood before, but Wednesday’s statement clarifying the kingdom’s positions on conditions for normalization with Israel was a direct signal to the White House that achieving such an outcome requires ending the war in Gaza and recognizing a Palestinian state. 

The statement outlines the traditional benchmarks that Saudi Arabia has long advocated, such as the call for recognition of a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with east Jerusalem as its capital. But it also addresses the war in Gaza, demanding a halt of "Israeli aggression" and the withdrawal of Israeli forces from the territory.

Loud narrators

The confusion has a great deal to do with the nature of Saudi-Israeli relations as defined in Israel and the United States.

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