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Israel must focus on security not ties with Saudi: minister says

May 22, 2024 at 2:08 pm

Israel Foreign Minister Eli Cohen speaks during a press conference at the European Office of the United Nations, Palais des Nation, in Geneva on November 14, 2023 [PIERRE ALBOUY/AFP via Getty Images]

Israel should concentrate on maintaining its security and not on negotiating normalisation agreements with Saudi Arabia, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, Eli Cohen, said today.

“The peace agreement with Saudi Arabia is not what is important right now,” Cohen told local radio, “it can wait.”

“No one makes peace agreements with weak people in the Middle East, the main thing we need to focus on now is security,” he added.

Cohen added that during talks with Riyadh, Saudi Arabia should not be setting the conditions for a deal, it should be Tel Aviv that decides the terms.

He went on to point out that “the Americans want to see two things: the end of the war and a peace agreement with Saudi Arabia… They want a political achievement before their elections.”

He, however, believes that Israel should concentrate on the wars it is waging in Gaza and on its northern frontier with Lebanon, only once those settle can there be “talk about a peace agreement with Saudi Arabia”.

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