In his address to the U.N. General Assembly on Friday, Benjamin Netanyahu said that his country is on the verge of a historic peace agreement with Saudi Arabia. During his remarks, the Israeli Prime Minister also brandished a map with Palestine missing.
Iran has invited Saudi Arabia to join the Islamic Republic in a proposed initiative for the global registration of the “intangible cultural heritage” of Iftar, the fast-breaking evening meal of Muslims in the holy month of Ramadan.
The invitation was extended by Ali Darabi, the deputy minister of Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts of Iran, during a meeting with Saudi assistant minister of Culture, Rakan bin Ibrahim Al-Touq, in Riyadh on Thursday.
The discussions are part of a US effort to broker a normalization deal between Saudi Arabia and Israel. Riyadh’s main demands for normalization is for stronger security guarantees from the US and help in establishing a nuclear program.
A Saudi-owned newspaper reported Sunday that the nation has told the Biden administration it is freezing US-brokered efforts to normalize relations with Israel because Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s hardline government is unwilling to make any concessions to the Palestinians.
An Israeli and an American official both said the report was false.
The United States is “in regular contact at senior levels with Saudi Arabia about ensuring a stable and affordable supply of energy to global markets”, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan says.
The statement on Friday follows International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates announced that oil output cuts – which Saudi Arabia and Russia extended to the end of 2023 – will result in a substantial market deficit through the fourth quarter this year because of high demand.
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Saudi Arabia has reportedly informed the United States of its decision to suspend all negotiations on normalizing ties with Israel due to the far-right Israeli cabinet’s unwillingness to make any concessions to the Palestinians.