Haaretz: Opening Saudi Skies to “Israel” to Pave MBS’ Way back to Washington
The day after the "Israeli" delegation concluded its official visit to the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia announced its skies would be open to any “country’s” plane flying to or from the UAE.
According to “Israeli” Haaretz daily, the name “Israel” may not have been mentioned explicitly, but there was no need for it.
“Saudi Arabia is still cautious and the price for official normalization with “Israel” will depend on the strategic payment it receives from Washington,” Zvi Bar'el wrote.
He further highlighted that discussions on the matter are being conducted at an intensive pace between Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and his friend Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s special adviser, who is striving to close the normalization before the US presidential election in November.
“Time is pressing and Trump is hoping to present another impressive diplomatic achievement that he can brandish during his election campaign, after most of his diplomatic initiatives, including his so-called “deal of the century,” fell apart – in the best case becoming a joke and in most cases causing deep anxiety,” the analyst highlighted.
He went on to explain, “Since the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi two years ago, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed has become persona non grata among the American public and Congress. During this period he has not visited Washington and his interests have been looked after by his brother, Prince Khalid bin Salman, who was the Saudi ambassador to Washington until 2019, and after that was appointed deputy defense minister. The investigations against MBS concerning Khashoggi’s murder are still underway, and in addition the Congress has imposed a ban on arms sales to the kingdom – a decision that was circumvented by Trump.”
“MBS very much needs a change that will give him back his previous status, after his friend, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed of the Emirates, began to overshadow him as a leader who shapes the new Middle East policy, and as the Arab figure closest to Trump,” Haaretz stated.
It also mentioned that “Peace with ‘Israel’ could be a game changer for Saudi Arabia vis-a-vis Washington, but compared to the Emirates, the kingdom’s situation is more complicated.”