US says no framework agreed for Saudi-Israel normalization, but talks ongoing

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The White House said Wednesday that no agreement had been reached yet to normalize ties between Saudi Arabia and Israel but vowed to continue working toward making it happen.

“There’s still a lot of discussing to happen here,” National Security Council Spokesman John Kirby told reporters during a call.

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The Wall Street Journal, citing US officials, reported on Wednesday that Washington and Riyadh had agreed on an outline of a deal for Saudi Arabia to recognize Israel in exchange for security aid, concessions to the Palestinians, and US help to push Saudi Arabia’s civilian nuclear ambitions forward.

Asked about the report, Kirby said: “I think... just to be blunt here, the reporting has left some people with the impression that the discussions are further along and closer to a sense of certainty than they are.

“There is... no agreed to framework to codify normalization or any of the other security considerations that we and our friends have in the region.”

Despite US efforts over the years to get Saudi Arabia on board with the Gulf trend to establish diplomatic ties with Israel, the kingdom has held off and demanded a Palestinian state, among other issues, to be resolved in line with the Arab Peace Initiative.

Israel has openly stated its hope that a breakthrough could be reached, but the current Netanyahu government has taken several steps to discourage Saudi Arabia and other countries from pursuing such a deal.

Read more: Pentagon reaffirms US commitment to strong military ties with Saudi Arabia

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