Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said on Monday that normalization with Israel requires both an end to the fighting in the Gaza Strip as well as the establishment of a Palestinian state.

“We’ve been clear with our public statements, and we’ve been clear with our American friends that a pathway towards recognition [of Israel] requires two things: It requires an end to the fighting in Gaza, and a withdrawal of all Israeli forces, and a Palestinian state. Without that, we’re not even able to consider this issue,” Prince Faisal told France24 in an interview.

He added, “This is something that everybody agrees on and, more than anything, it is in the interest of Israel to be open to working together with their neighbors and that can only happen through a Palestinian state.”

Asked by the interviewer whether a political commitment by Israel to recognize a Palestinian state would be enough for Saudi Arabia to normalize ties with Israel, the Saudi Foreign Minister replied, “That in itself is a prerequisite, but it is not enough, because we need to have a clear pathway towards establishing that Palestinian state. It cannot be just a political commitment.”

“From my perspective,” continued Prince Faisal, “the Palestinian state already exists. What now has to come into play is a recognition of that Palestinian state and its borders. These are things that need to be clearly defined and understood, and that’s what we require.”

The Saudi Foreign Minister also said that it is “heartening to hear international partners agree the pathway to stability in the region is towards a Palestinian state. That countries in Europe, maybe even the US, are willing to discuss recognition of a state is very positive."

Saudi officials have long insisted that statehood for the Palestinian Arabs must be part of any process which concludes in the kingdom recognizing Israel and normalizing ties.

However, a recent report indicated that Saudi Arabia would be willing to accept a political commitment from Israel to create a Palestinian state, rather than anything more binding, in a bid to get a defense pact with Washington approved before the US presidential election.

Israel and Saudi Arabia appeared to be on track towards normalization before Hamas’ October 7 attack against Israel and the war in Gaza which followed.

Shortly after the start of the war in Gaza, sources told Reuters that Saudi Arabia is putting the US-backed plans to normalize ties with Israel on ice.

Prince Faisal later said that he believes talks on normalization between Israel and Saudi Arabia will resume immediately after the conclusion of the war in Gaza.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said over the weekend there is "an extraordinary opportunity" in the coming months for Israel to normalize ties with its Arab neighbors.

"Virtually every Arab country now genuinely wants to integrate Israel into the region to normalize provide security commitments and assurances so that Israel can feel more safe," Blinken was quoted as having said during a panel discussion at the annual Munich Security Conference.