A senior Biden administration official hinted yesterday (Wednesday) during a hearing in the US House of Representatives that President Biden’s visit to the Middle East next month could lead to normalization measures against Israel by Arab states that have not yet officially joined the Abrahamic Accords.
What are they saying
- “We are working behind the scenes with a few other countries. I think you will see some interesting things around the date of the president’s visit to the region,” said Assistant Secretary of State for the Middle East Barbara Leaf in response to a question from Democratic Congresswoman Kathy Manning.
- Later in the hearing, the chairman of the committee asked Democratic Congressman Ted Deutsch to get more details on the matter. Leaf evaded and replied, “I do not want to step on President Biden’s fingers.”
why is it important
The Biden administration wants one of the results of the president’s visit to the Middle East to be some progress in expanding the Abrahamic agreements between Israel and the Arab world. If Biden succeeds in this it will be a significant political achievement for him, which will also slightly blunt the criticism within the Democratic Party that the American president is giving legitimacy to Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman.
- Yesterday it was reported in Walla! The White House has recently been formulating a “road map” for normalization between Israel and Saudi Arabia as part of preparations for President Biden’s visit to the Middle East in mid-July.
- The White House believes that any “roadmap” for normalization between Israel and Saudi Arabia will take time and be part of a long-term date. An American source with details said that “the White House’s strategy is one of gradual step-by-step progress.”
- On May 24 it was unveiled at Walla! Because the United States is in secret negotiations between Israel, Saudi Arabia and Egypt on a potential deal to complete the transfer of the two strategic islands in the Red Sea – Tiran and Sanfir – to Saudi control. As part of the “deal” Saudi Arabia will take limited and gradual normalization measures against Israel.
- A senior Israeli official said he did not foresee a significant breakthrough towards normalization with Saudi Arabia during a visit to Biden, but stressed that during the visit a Saudi agreement would most likely be reached to allow Israeli airlines to fly through Saudi airspace on flights to India, Thailand and China.