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No Normal Israel Ties Without Path To Palestinian State -Saudi FM Confesses To CNN

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No Normal Israel Ties Without Path To Palestinian State -Saudi FM Confesses To CNN

There can be no normalization of ties with Israel without resolving the Palestinian issue, Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister told CNN in an interview aired on Sunday.

Asked if there could be no normal ties without a path to a credible and irreversible Palestinian state, Prince Faisal bin Farhan told CNN: “That’s the only way we’re going to get a benefit. So, yes, because we need stability and only stability will come through resolving the Palestinian issue.”

Prince Faisal said the only way for the region to see true peace and real integration that delivers economic and social benefits to the Middle East is “through peace, through a credible, irreversible process to a Palestinian state.”

“We are fully ready, not just as Saudi Arabia, but as Arab countries, to engage in that conversation. I would hope that the Israelis would be as well, but it’s up to them to make that decision,” the foreign minister said.

Speaking about Houthi attacks on ships in and around the Red Sea for the past several weeks, the minister said the Kingdom believed in freedom of navigation and wanted tensions in the region to be de-escalated.

“We of course, believe very much in the freedom of navigation. And that’s something that needs to be protected. But we also need to protect the security and stability of the region. So we are very focused on de-escalating the situation as much as possible,” he told CNN.

Halting civilian deaths is another key focus of Saudi Arabia, the minister said.

“What we are seeing is the Israelis are crushing Gaza, the civilian population of Gaza. This is completely unnecessary, completely unacceptable and has to stop,” he said.

The local health ministry in Gaza says more than 25,000 Palestinians have been killed and more than 62,000 wounded in Israel’s assault on the region since an Oct. 7 attack on Israel by Hamas.

The foreign minister’s remarks were part of an interview originally taped on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum held last week in Davos, Switzerland, and aired Sunday on CNN.

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