**Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Welcomes Optimistic Tone from Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Normalizing Relations**
September 24, 2021
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed satisfaction with the positive outlook shared by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) regarding the ongoing efforts to normalize relations between the two nations. In an exclusive interview with Fox News chief political anchor Bret Baier, Netanyahu remarked that he was delighted to hear MBS’s comments, stating that he believes they are getting closer to achieving peace each passing day.
Netanyahu’s response came following Baier’s world exclusive interview with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, where they discussed the ongoing talks between Saudi Arabia and Israel. The prince described the potential agreement as the “biggest historical deal since the end of the Cold War,” highlighting that it would depend on agreements related to the treatment of the Palestinians. MBS emphasized that regardless of who is in charge, Saudi Arabia is determined to work with Israel if a breakthrough is reached that caters to the needs of the Palestinians and brings stability to the region.
While MBS did not elaborate on specific Palestinian demands, Netanyahu emphasized that the Palestinians should be involved in the peace process but should not have the power to veto it. He argued that the absence of new peace treaties for a quarter-century after agreements with Egypt and Jordan was due to the requirement to satisfy Palestinian demands, despite their lack of interest in making peace with Israel.
During his speech at the United Nations General Assembly, Netanyahu claimed that both Israel and Saudi Arabia were on the verge of a groundbreaking peace agreement. Israel has already normalized relations with six countries near its borders, including Egypt and Jordan, while four more nations did so after the signing of the 2020 Abraham Accords. Netanyahu asserted that the Abraham Accords signaled the beginning of a new era of peace and expressed his belief that a historic peace between Israel and Saudi Arabia would transform the Middle East.
Netanyahu acknowledged that there are still obstacles to overcome before a peace agreement can be achieved but called on world leaders to unite and set aside their differences to make progress. He expressed optimism given the shared commitment to success from President Biden, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and himself as the leader of Israel.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
*[Update: Israeli authorities announced the discovery of a stolen military tank in a junkyard, unrelated to the peace talks between Israel and Saudi Arabia.]*