US should reaffirm commitment to Saudi Arabia, Netanyahu tells Al Arabiya

US should reaffirm commitment to Saudi Arabia, Netanyahu tells Al Arabiya
Israeli Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu has called on the United States to reaffirm their commitment to Saudi Arabia, saying the alliance between the two countries was an 'anchor of stability'.
2 min read
16 December, 2022
Netanyahu is expected to from a coalition government with far-right allies following November's election [Getty]

Israeli Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu urged key ally the United States to reaffirm its commitment to Saudi Arabia and pledged to pursue formal Israeli ties with Riyadh for a "quantum leap" in peace, Al Arabiya English said on Thursday.

The US-Saudi strategic partnership has frayed under President Joe Biden's administration and there has been tension between the United States and the United Arab Emirates, which forged relations with Israel.

"The traditional (US) alliance with Saudi Arabia and other countries, has to be reaffirmed. There should not be periodic swings, or even wild swings in this relationship, because I think that the alliance... is the anchor of stability in our region," Netanyahu told the Saudi-owned website.

"I'm to speak to President Biden about it," Netanyahu said according to a published transcript of the interview.

Having emerged as the victor in a November election, Netanyahu is in talks to form a coalition with far-right partners and has until 21 December to finalise the government.

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Netanyahu said he was committed to building on normalisation pacts - known as the Abraham Accords - that were signed with the UAE, Bahrain, and Morocco in 2020 under his leadership. The governments of these countries received backlash for signing the accords from the public, who said the move was a betrayal of the Palestinian cause.

Gulf powerhouse Saudi Arabia blessed the US-brokered pacts but stopped short of formally recognising Israel, saying it would not do so without a resolution to Palestinian statehood goals.

Gulf states, which rely on the US security umbrella, have questioned Washington's commitment to the region.

US-Saudi ties have been strained over Riyadh's human rights record, the Yemen war, and more recently, energy policy.

Saudi Arabia has made some gestures towards Israel, announcing in July during a visit by Biden to the kingdom that it would open Saudi airspace to all carriers.