Issue Brief on “Explicit Overtures: The Changing Face of Saudi-Israel Relations”

During an all-encompassing interview during his current United States tour in March 2018, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman foretold his vision for the future of the Middle East, including the prospect of harmony with Israel stating that, “I believe that each people, anywhere, has a right to live in their peaceful nation. I believe the Palestinians and the Israelis have the right to have their own land.” [1]

These remarks echoed the ever-increasing warmer tone toward Israel espoused by the de facto ruler of a powerful Arab country that once resisted the mere idea of Israel’s right to exist.

In an effort to offset Mohammad bin Salman’s explosive statement, Prince Mohammed’s father, King Salman immediately reaffirmed, “the Kingdom’s steadfast position towards the Palestinian issue and the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people to an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital.”[2] This, of course, does little to mitigate Mohammad bin Salman’s comments, and who is seen as leading the process of reforms in Saudi Arabia.

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