Mideast ‘On Cusp Of Historic Peace’: Israeli PM


By Alex Whiteman

The Middle East is “on the cusp of a historic peace,” Israel’s prime minister said on Friday, referring to US-brokered efforts to normalize relations with Saudi Arabia.

Addressing the 78th session of the UN General Assembly, Benjamin Netanyahu said he believes Israel and Saudi Arabia are close to a “dramatic breakthrough” that would not only secure peace between the two states but “transform” the entire region and create “a new Middle East.”

He added: “Such a peace will go a long way to ending the Arab-Israeli conflict, and will encourage other Arab states to normalize their relations with Israel while also enhancing the prospects of peace with the Palestinians.”

Should an agreement be finalized, it would build on the Abraham Accords, signed in 2020 between Israel on one hand and the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan on the other.

Speaking two days after meeting US President Joe Biden in New York, Netanyahu said he felt that the Biden administration could secure a deal between Israel and Saudi Arabia in the same way that the Trump administration had facilitated the Abraham Accords.

“The Abraham Accords were a pivot of history and today we see the blessings, with trade and investment with our new peace partners booming as our nations cooperate in commerce, energy, water and agriculture, climate and many other fields,” Netanyahu added.

“In the G20 conference, President Biden, (Indian) Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi, and European and Arab leaders announced plans for a visionary corridor that will stretch across the Arabian Peninsula and into Israel.

“It will connect India to Europe with maritime, railroads, energy pipelines, fiber optic cables. This corridor will bypass maritime checkpoints, or choke points rather, and dramatically lower the cost of goods, communication and energy for over 2 billion people.”

However, he warned that the progress made in recent years could be undone by a “fly in the ointment,” saying Iran continues to spend significant amounts on its military and has made efforts to extend its influence worldwide.

“Iran’s aggression is largely met by indifference in the international community, and despite Western powers pledging that they’d snap back sanctions if Iran violated the nuclear deal, that hasn’t been the case,” he added.

“Iran is violating the deal, but the sanctions intended to stop its nuclear ambitions haven’t been re-imposed.

“This policy must change, the sanctions must be snapped back, and above all, Iran must face a credible nuclear threat.”

Arab News

Arab News is Saudi Arabia's first English-language newspaper. It was founded in 1975 by Hisham and Mohammed Ali Hafiz. Today, it is one of 29 publications produced by Saudi Research & Publishing Company (SRPC), a subsidiary of Saudi Research & Marketing Group (SRMG).

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