UN: Biden and Netanyahu try to unblock Israel-Saudi Arabia deal

US President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met on Wednesday 20 September in New York, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly. Relations between the two are tense, particularly because of the Israeli colonization of the Palestinian territories and the reform of the Israeli judiciary. But the White House continues to work for the interests of the Jewish state and Benjamin Netanyahu has raised the possibility of "a historic peace agreement" with Saudi Arabia.

US President Joe Biden speaks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, in New York, September 20, 2023. © Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

By: RFI Follow


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With our correspondent in Jerusalem, Sami Boukhelifa

It is no secret that Washington has been mediating between its two main allies in the Middle East, Israel and Saudi Arabia, for some time now. This is with the aim of normalizing relations between these two countries.

The Israeli Prime Minister is also multiplying the appeals of the foot to the Saudi kingdom. Benjamin Netanyahu publicly talks about investment projects with his wealthy southern neighbor and dreams of economic benefits. But he also dreams of the geopolitical impact of such an alliance in the region.

So much for the theory. But when it comes to taking action, the Israeli Prime Minister is intransigent: he wants peace, but without compensation.

However, this normalization has a price and it is clearly displayed by the Saudis: no peace without the settlement of the Palestinian question and the creation of a Palestinian state. Inflexible, Benjamin Netanyahu rejects any concession on this subject and repeated it Tuesday night, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

That leaves little room for Joe Biden. He must also address, with Benjamin Netanyahu, another thorny issue: the reform of justice in Israel, which is of great concern to Washington.

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Read on on the same topics:

  • Benjamin Netanyahu
  • Israel
  • Joe Biden
  • Diplomacy
  • Palestinian Territories
  • Israeli-Palestinian conflict
  • Saudi Arabia
  • UN