Antony Blinken
Antony BlinkenREUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/Pool

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Saturday there is "an extraordinary opportunity" in the coming months for Israel to normalize ties with its Arab neighbors, though he also stressed the need for the creation of a Palestinian state.

The top US diplomat said there were genuine efforts led by Arab countries to revitalize the Palestinian Authority so it can be more effective in representing the Palestinian Arabs, according to a report in the Reuters news agency.

"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.

"And there's also, I think the imperative, that's more urgent than ever, to proceed to a Palestinian state that also ensures the security of Israel," he added.

Several Arab countries normalized ties with Israel as part of the 2020 Abraham Accords, which were brokered by the Trump administration.

The Biden administration has been working to expand the Abraham Accords, mainly by trying secure a mega-deal that will see ties between Saudi Arabia and Israel normalize. The Kingdom and other Arab countries are seeking the creation of a Palestinian state as part of the deal.

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.

Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister, Prince Faisal bin Farhan, later said that he believes talks on normalization between Israel and Saudi Arabia will resume immediately after the conclusion of the war in Gaza.