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i24 News — Amid conflicting reports, the United States has officially confirmed that negotiations for a possible Israel-Saudi normalization agreement are ongoing, underscoring its commitment to promoting regional integration in the Middle East.

The statement follows reports that Saudi Arabia had suspended discussions with both Israel and the United States regarding a potential normalization agreement with Israel.

Reports surfaced in the Saudi-owned Elaph newspaper, quoting unnamed senior Israeli officials who acknowledged receiving communication from Washington regarding the suspension of talks.

One major challenge cited in the reports is the assertive rhetoric of two hard-right ministers within the Israeli government, Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben-Gvir. According to the unnamed Saudi officials cited in the report, their unwavering positions on the Palestinian issue have hindered substantial progress in the ongoing normalization discussions.

Despite these reports, the US State Department says they maintain their commitment to advancing Israel’s regional integration, particularly through active diplomacy aimed at fostering Israel-Saudi normalization. The United States emphasized its dedication to further conversations with both Israel and Saudi Arabia on this matter.

Normalization agreements between Israel and other Middle Eastern nations, including the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, brokered during the previous administration under then-President Donald Trump, serve as a precedent for a possible diplomatic advancement.

While Saudi Arabia, home to two of Islam’s holiest sites, has yet to officially recognize Israel and did not participate in the 2020 US-brokered Abraham Accords, US officials have considered the prospect of normalization between these two countries as plausible.

Source of original article: World – (
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