“Every day we get closer,” the crown prince told Fox News in wide-ranging remarks broadcast on Wednesday, when asked to characterize talks aimed at long-time foes Israel and Saudi Arabia reaching a landmark agreement to open diplomatic relations, Reuters reported.
The conservative U.S. network’s interview with the crown prince, widely known as MBS, comes as President Joe Biden’s administration presses ahead with an effort to broker historic ties between the two regional powerhouses, Washington’s top Middle East allies.
The normalization talks are the centrepiece of complex negotiations that also include discussions of U.S. security guarantees and civilian nuclear help that Riyadh has sought, as well as possible Israeli concessions to the Palestinians.
“For us, the Palestinian issue is critical. We need to solve that part,” MbS, Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler, said when asked what it would take to get a normalization agreement. “And we have a good negotiation strategy til now.”
“We got to see where we go. We hope that will reach a place that will ease the life of the Palestinians and get Israel as a player in the Middle East,” he said, speaking in English.
MbS also voiced concern about the possibility that Iran, a mutual adversary of Saudi Arabia and Israel that the U.S. wants to contain, could obtain a nuclear weapon. Tehran has denied seeking a nuclear bomb.
“That’s a bad move,” he said. “If you use it, you got to have a big fight with the rest of the world.”
Asked what would happen if Iran did get a nuclear bomb, MbS said: “If they get one, we have to get one, for security reasons and the balance of power in the Middle East. But we don’t want to see that.”Follow TKG on Twitter & Facebook