Henry Kissinger troubled by concessions to Saudi Arabia for Israel normalisation deal

Henry Kissinger troubled by concessions to Saudi Arabia for Israel normalisation deal
2 min read
21 September, 2023
While saying US-mediated negotiations between Israel and the Saudis were good, the 100-year-old former US Secretary State expressed 'concern' over potential Israeli concessions to Saudi Arabia.
Kissinger made the comments to Israel's Maariv newspaper [Getty]

Former US State Secretary Henry Kissinger has expressed concerns about conditions put forward by Saudi Arabia in return for normalisation with Israel.

Speaking to Israeli newspaper Maariv, Kissinger believed the concessions that are being offered to the Saudis are "very far-reaching."

Nearly half a century ago, Kissinger's "shuttle diplomacy" played a prominent role in negotiating "disengagement" agreements between Israel and Arab countries following the 1973 war.

However, the 100-year-old former top US diplomat has been accused of war crimes over his role in such countries as Vietnam, Cambodia, and Chile.

Riyadh has told Washington that Palestinian statehood was a prerequisite for normalising ties with Israel, and has also asked the US to support it having a nuclear programme.

During an interview with Fox News aired on Wednesday, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said his country would seek to have a nuclear programme if Iran had one.

Saudi Arabia reestablished diplomatic ties with Iran earlier this year.

"If they get one, we have to get one," he said, adding: "For security reasons and for balancing power in Middle East."

Bin Salman added that a normalisation of relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel is getting "closer".

There have been reports that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, already in deep water over a controversial judicial overhaul plan in Israel, will agree to some Saudi demands.

Israeli officials are "quietly" working with Washington on the Saudi proposal to set up a US-run uranium enrichment operation, The Wall Street Journal said in a report on Thursday.

Although it does not admit to possessing them, Israel is also widely believed to have nuclear weapons.

The US has tirelessly tried to mediate talks between Israel and Saudi Arabia, which has the biggest economy in the Arab world.

Egypt, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco, and Sudan already share ties with Israel.