Antony Blinken
Antony BlinkenREUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/Pool

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday spoke to Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, and reiterated the Biden administration’s commitment to a Palestinian state.

“Secretary Blinken and the Foreign Minister pledged to continue close coordination, along with the Palestinians and other regional and international partners, on ways to resolve the conflict in Gaza and prepare for the post-conflict phase,” said State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller in a statement following the call.

“The Secretary thanked the Foreign Minister for Saudi Arabia’s generous humanitarian assistance to Palestinians in need. Secretary Blinken emphasized the United States’ commitment to achieving sustained peace through the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with security guarantees for Israel,” the statement continued.

It added that Blinken and the Saudi Foreign Minister also discussed the importance of ending the conflict in Sudan and preventing further widespread civilian harm.

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.

Last week, the Saudi Foreign Minister told France24 in an interview that normalization with Israel requires both an end to the fighting in the Gaza Strip as well as the establishment of a Palestinian state.

“From my perspective, 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,” he said.