Reports: Saudi Arabia Took Part in Israel-Morocco Normalization

YERUSHALAYIM -
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. (Bandar Aljaloud/Saudi Royal Palace via AP)

Saudi Arabia was involved in the preparation of the normalization deal between Israel and Morocco, according to reports on Israeli media Friday.

Channel 12 cited diplomatic sources as saying that Riyadh had a role in the process, without specifying the degree of the Saudi involvement in the deal.

The report added that the probability of a similar deal between Israel and Saudi Arabia in the near future was on the cards.

Channel 13 reported that Saudi Arabia joined forces with the White House to secure normalization deals between Israel and other states, with Indonesia and Oman speculated as likely to be next in line.

Riyadh and Washington reportedly aim to do so before late January, when Joe Biden is slated to take over.

The process is designed to set the stage for an eventual Israeli-Saudi normalization, which is unlikely to take place in the coming weeks, the report said.

In a sign of what is perhaps to come, Oman welcomed Morocco’s announcement that it was establishing diplomatic ties with Israel and hoped the move would strengthen efforts towards a lasting and just peace in the Middle East, its Foreign Ministry said on Friday.

“[Oman] welcomes what Morocco’s King Mohammed VI announced in his phone calls with U.S. President Trump and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and hopes this will further endeavors to achieve a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East,” the statement said, without specifically mentioning what had been announced.

In a turbulent region, Oman has maintained its neutrality.

U.S. and Israeli officials have previously suggested that Oman could be another possible candidate for normalization. Muscat has not commented on its own prospects for normalized relations.

In 2018, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu visited Oman and discussed peace initiatives in the Middle East with then-Omani leader Sultan Qaboos.

Last month, Netanyahu met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during an under-the-radar visit to the Saudi city of Neom.

The discussion reportedly included Israeli-Saudi normalization on its agenda, but ultimately resulted in no breakthroughs, with reports suggesting those are unlikely while King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud remains the ruler.