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Netanyahu eyes full diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia

‘I think we can end the Arab-Israeli conflict,’ says Israeli Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu

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Israeli Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday said that he will seek to establish full diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia “as soon as I get into office.”

“I think we can end the Arab-Israeli conflict and achieve peace with the Palestinians, we just have to be creative about it,” Netanyahu said in an interview with the Saudi-owned Al Arabiya TV.

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He also described such a move to be “a quantum leap for an overall peace between Israel and the Arab world,” saying that it will change the region “in ways that are unimaginable.”

There was no immediate comment from Saudi authorities on Netanyahu’s remarks.

Saudi Arabia does not have diplomatic relations with Israel and opposes normalization with Tel Aviv until ending the decades-long Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories.

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It, however, allowed its airspace to be used for aviation between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, both countries which established ties with Israel in September 2020.

Netanyahu’s deadline to form the Israeli government ends on Dec. 21.