Israel, Saudi Arabia normalization will take time, Yair Lapid says

Israel hopes to build on the Abraham Accords and establish diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia.

As recently as April 2021, current Foreign Minister Yair Lapid stated: ‘I’ll continue to fight for an Israeli recognition of the Armenian genocide.’  (photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/FLASH90)
As recently as April 2021, current Foreign Minister Yair Lapid stated: ‘I’ll continue to fight for an Israeli recognition of the Armenian genocide.’
(photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/FLASH90)

Reaching a deal to normalize ties between Israel and Saudi Arabia will be "a long and cautious process", but Israel believes it can happen, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said on Monday.

Israel has said it hopes to build on its 2020 US-brokered accords with four Muslim nations and establish diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia, home to Islam's holiest two sites, has conditioned any eventual normalization with Israel on the addressing of the Palestinians' quest for statehood on territory captured by Israel in 1967 Six Day War.

Saudi Arabia agreement will be different from Abraham Accords

Lapid, speaking on Army Radio, said that should an agreement emerge, it would not come in a surprise announcement as it did with previous deals, which include agreements with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

"We will not wake up one morning to a surprise, rather it will be a long and cautious process on both sides. There are security interests for both countries"

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid to Army Radio, May 30
 Left, Defense Minister Benny Gantz meets with National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, right Sullivan meets with Saudi Arabian Vice Minister of Defense Khalid bin Salman  (credit: Edit by Jerusalem Post Staff/SHMULIK ALMANI/Khalid bin Salman's Twitter page) Left, Defense Minister Benny Gantz meets with National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, right Sullivan meets with Saudi Arabian Vice Minister of Defense Khalid bin Salman (credit: Edit by Jerusalem Post Staff/SHMULIK ALMANI/Khalid bin Salman's Twitter page)

He added it would be a "slow process of small details" but that he believed a deal could be reached.

"We are working on this with the Americans, with some of our friends in the Gulf countries, in many different echelons. Egypt is of course a significant player," Lapid said.