US Secretary of State Antony Blinken says is country cannot commit more to normalization agreements in the Arab World in light of the ongoing tensions.

  • United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, Wednesday, June 28, 2023 (AP)
    United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, Wednesday, June 28, 2023 (AP)

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken delivered some bad news to his Israeli counterpart Eli Cohen regarding the normalization process, the Israeli Walla! website revealed Wednesday.

During a phone call that took place between the two top diplomats, Blinken told Cohen that the United States could not do much to expedite or boost the normalization process with the Israeli occupation in the Arab World, the news outlet said.

According to Walla!, Blinken told Cohen that it was much more difficult for Washington, and perhaps even impossible, to enhance or expand normalization agreements through normalization with Saudi Arabia, while the Israeli occupation's backyard is troubled, referring to the recent escalation in the West Bank.

Blinken added in a conference for the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington that the deteriorating situation in the West Bank would not serve the Israeli occupation, hinting at a scenario where "the Palestinian Authority collapses."

This comes after Senior US Advisor to the President for Energy and Investment Amos Hochstein traveled to Saudi Arabia earlier in the week as part of efforts to strengthen relations with the US and push for normalization with "Israel".

According to the report, the White House wants to fulfill these objectives within the next six to seven months before President Joe Biden is due to dedicate more time to the 2024 presidential runoff.

Israeli media reported on June 20 that there will be no direct flights transporting Hajj pilgrims from "Israel" [occupied Palestine] to Saudi Arabia, which inauspiciously frames the prospect of normalization between the two countries. 

"Despite the efforts that have been made, there are no direct flights between Israel and Saudi Arabia to transport pilgrims to Mecca,"  Israeli channel Kan reported. 

The Israeli Ministry of Transportation announced that airlines would not submit requests to operate flights to Saudi destinations with the approaching date of Hajj rituals in Mecca. A senior assistant to the occupation Prime Minister also confirmed that there will be no immediate flights to Saudi Arabia. 

Under the auspices of China, Iran, and Saudi Arabia agreed to restore diplomatic relations on March 10. The two countries had their ties severed in 2016 following Saudi Arabia's execution of Sheikh Nimr Baqir Al-Nimr.

The agreement to officially restore diplomatic ties was signed at a ceremony a month later in Beijing.

The two countries are scheduled to resume direct flights, allow mutual visits by top officials, and foster security collaboration. The collective West has been set back by the China-sponsored peace.

The blow was hard for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who just a month prior to the Iran-Saudi deal said that "Israel" and Saudi Arabia were planning to join forces on the basis of a common goal of stopping Iran.

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