Prince Faisal bin Farhan
Prince Faisal bin FarhanReuters

Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister, Prince Faisal bin Farhan, said on Thursday that an agreement to create a Palestinian state would be a precondition for his country to establish formal diplomatic ties with Israel.

Speaking to Bloomberg TV from Davos, Switzerland, Prince Faisal said, “We have said consistently that we believe normalization with Israel is something that is very much in the interest of the region.”

“However,” he added, “true normalization and true stability will only come through giving the Palestinians hope, through giving the Palestinians dignity.”

“That requires giving the Palestinians a state, and that’s the priority,” stressed the top Saudi diplomat.

Neighbors of the kingdom, including the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, formalized relationships with Israel in 2020 under the US-brokered Abraham Accords.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made clear that his goal is to achieve a peace agreement with Saudi Arabia that would “effectively end the Arab-Israeli conflict.”

However, Saudi officials have repeatedly said that a Palestinian state with eastern Jerusalem as its capital is a prerequisite for Saudi Arabia normalizing ties with Israel, and Prince Faisal’s comments on Thursday are in line with that.

On Wednesday, in remarks at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Prince Faisal urged Israel's new government to engage seriously on resolving the conflict with the Palestinian Authority.