Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Israeli Ambassador hopes U.S. will mend ties with Saudi Arabia

Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Herzog said that it would be “very important for our region” if the U.S. and Saudi Arabia were to “fix” their relationship. “Saudi Arabia is a hugely important actor in our part of the world and in the Islamic world as a whole,” Herzog said. “Strategically speaking, and I’m not ignoring all the difficulties, I think that is very important for our region” that relations improve. Herzog also said Israel hopes Saudi Arabia will join other Gulf countries in growing the Abraham Accords and normalizing relations with Israel, but said that will be difficult if the U.S. and Saudi Arabia haven’t restored their relationship first. (https://www.axios.com/israel-us-improve-saudi-relations-herzog-7f4c5831-b94b-49e3-af74-cec5cadbc352.html) The Israeli government is concerned that the tensions between the Biden administration and Saudi Arabia will push the Saudis towards Russia and China and lead to less U.S. engagement in the Gulf, which could embolden Iran. U.S.-Saudi relations have been rocky since the election of President Biden. The Saudis have recently rebuffed U.S. requests to increase their oil output, opting instead to stick to a production pact reached with Russia.

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