Saudi Arabia informs the US of its conditions for normalization with Israel, reports say

Abu Dhabi and London

Saudi Arabia has told the United States that it may normalize relations with Israel if Washington agrees to provide Riyadh with security guarantees and help it develop a civilian nuclear program, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times reported Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The Biden administration is deeply involved in the negotiations, the WSJ said, citing unnamed people involved in the discussions. The New York Times said officials and experts in the US and in the region were divided on the feasibility of the proposals.

CNN has not independently confirmed the substance of those discussions.

Saudi Arabia has in the past said that recognition of Israel would only come after an independent Palestinian state is established based on principles of The Arab Peace Initiative that it proposed in 2002.

“I will say that the government of Israel right now is doing everything it can to undermine the promise of the Abraham accords,” the Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan told journalists in London on Tuesday, referring to the normalization deal between Israel and four Arab nations that started in 2020.

The kingdom’s nuclear energy ambitions are not new, with the first plans being made public in 2010. The United Nations’ nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, had been in the country in 2018 to inspect building progress of an experimental reactor.

Saudi Arabia has insisted in the past that it should be allowed to produce its own nuclear fuel rather than import it under strict conditions.

In December, Saudi’s energy minister said the kingdom intends to take advantage of its “huge” uranium resources to develop its nuclear program “in the most transparent way.”

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