Israel had hopes from the visit of Jake Sullivan, the national security advisor of the US, who left about two weeks ago for a visit to Saudi Arabia, during which he met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and discussed with him the latest developments in the region, primarily Saudi Arabia’s approach to the Sino-Russian-Iranian axis and also the issue of normalization between Saudi Arabia to Israel.
Sullivan’s visit followed CIA chief William Burns’ visit to Saudi Arabia more than a month ago, during which he conveyed to the Saudi royal family the White House’s displeasure with Saudi Arabia’s latest moves.
Israel hoped that Jake Sullivan’s visit to Saudi Arabia would lead to a breakthrough in its efforts to normalize its relations with the Saudi royal family.
Tzachi Hanegbi, head of the National Security Council, said on May 5th that Israel is very optimistic about achieving a breakthrough during Jake Sullivan’s visit to Saudi Arabia in regards to normalization between the two countries.
Jake Sullivan said before leaving for Saudi Arabia that the US is working to achieve normalization in relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel and that ultimately it is in the interest of American national security.
Since then there has been silence on the subject, but now senior officials in the PA say that Saudi Arabia informed the PA about the results of Jake Sullivan’s meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman who made it clear to him that Saudi Arabia will not sign a normalization agreement with Israel until Israel commits clearly to implement the Arab peace initiative from 2002 based on the Saudi peace initiative of King Abdullah bin Abd Alaziz.
The leadership of the PA is satisfied with what Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said to PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in their last meeting in Riyadh at the end of the month of Ramadan in which he expressed firm opposition against “Saudi Arabia’s entanglement in normalization with Israel without a political solution to the Palestinian problem being reached.”
The “Rai Alyoum” newspaper reported on May 15th from senior Palestinian officials that Muhammad bin Salman told Mahmoud Abbas directly that he informed the Biden administration that Saudi Arabia is not interested in normalization with Israel without it making a clear commitment in writing to implement the Arab peace initiative that the United States is well aware of.
This information appeared also in writing in reports delivered to the PLO Executive Committee after Mahmoud Abbas’s visit to Saudi Arabia.
Senior officials in the PA are satisfied with the Saudi promise to the Chairman of the PA regarding normalization with Israel and hope that this will also be expressed officially at the Arab Summit Conference in Riyadh.
They are also satisfied that so far the Saudi crown prince has not made any move towards the leadership of Hamas that could harm the position of the PA.
The leadership of Hamas visited Saudi Arabia during the month of Ramadan for a visit that was defined as a “religious visit” for the purpose of the pilgrimage without receiving any official recognition from the Saudi royal house, the Hamas movement is still defined in Saudi Arabia as a terrorist organization.
Palestinian personalities heard from senior Saudi officials that Saudi Arabia is suffering from difficulties in its cash flow and financial reserves because of the war in Yemen, and therefore the Saudi crown prince wants to end it as soon as possible.
Mohammed bin Salman also has no intention of withdrawing from Saudi Arabia’s strategic-economic ties with China. Saudi Arabia also made it clear to the American administration that it acts according to its interests and that its relationship with China, Russia and Iran will continue without harming its friendly relations with the United States.
According to sources in the entourage of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas during his visit to Saudi Arabia, these messages were delivered to the head of the CIA William Burns and to Jake Sullivan, the national security advisor during their visits to Saudi Arabia.
It seems that the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, is now conducting a very cautious policy in the Middle East in order to improve the international position of Saudi Arabia and he is not ready to deviate from the official line of Saudi Arabia since the process of normalization of the Arab countries with Israel began, which requires the achievement of a political solution to the Palestinian problem as a condition for signing an agreement between Saudi Arabia to Israel.