US-Saudi Middle East Plan Excludes Israel amid Gaza Genocide – Report


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By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

Saudi Arabia is reportedly advocating for a more modest plan B with the United States, which excludes the Israelis.

Saudi Arabia is pushing for a Middle East plan with the United States that would exclude Israel in the face of Tel Aviv’s insistence in prolonging its genocidal war on Gaza, The Guardian reported on Wednesday.

According to the British newspaper, the US and Saudi Arabia have drafted a series of agreements pertaining to security and technology sharing, initially intended to coincide with a broader Middle East resolution involving Israel and Palestine.

However, due to the ongoing war in Gaza and the Israeli government’s steadfast opposition to a Palestinian state, along with its potential offensive in Rafah, Saudi Arabia is reportedly advocating for “a more modest plan B, which excludes the Israelis.”

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This alternate proposal reportedly entails the US and Saudi Arabia signing bilateral agreements on a defense pact, US assistance in establishing a civil nuclear energy industry in Saudi Arabia, and substantial collaboration in emerging technologies like artificial intelligence.

While an offer for normalization of diplomatic relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel would still be extended, it would be conditioned on Netanyahu government’s approval or progress towards a two-state solution, the paper added.

The Guardian reported that “one of the goals of Blinken’s trip to Riyadh was to finalise the US-Saudi agreements, which administration officials describe as almost complete.” However, it added, Saudis “made it clear there was no final breakthrough.

“US officials who were adamant last week that US-Saudi agreements were inextricably linked to Saudi-Israel normalisation and the two-state solution have become non-committal on the subject in recent days,” the paper said.

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While the initial agreement may proceed independently of developments in Israel, a formal offer would be extended to Israel, linking Saudi normalization to concrete steps towards a Palestinian state.

The proposed nuclear aspect of the deal would reportedly permit Saudi Arabia a conversion plant for uranium, but not initial uranium enrichment on Saudi soil, addressing proliferation concerns.

“The Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, has raised proliferation fears in the past by declaring that Riyadh would pursue nuclear weapons if Iran developed its own,” according to the report.

The Guardian noted how the US-Saudi plan comes after “Riyadh has been steadily ramping up the amount of arms it has been buying from China as it has hedged its strategic bets in recent years.”

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The Biden Administration, according to the paper, was surprised last March by Riyadh’s decision to agree on a Chinese-brokered deal to restore relations with Iran.

“Out of fear of losing its dominant great power role in the Middle East, Biden abandoned his attempt to cold-shoulder Prince Mohammed over abuses like the 2018 murder of the Saudi dissident and journalist Jamal Khashoggi,” The Guardian noted.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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