US President Joe Biden landed in Saudi Arabia this afternoon after a three-day visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories as part of his Middle East tour. One of its main missions now is to unite its main allies in the region, the Saudi kingdom and the Jewish state, within the framework of normalization between Israel and its Arab neighbors.
With our correspondent in Jerusalem, Sami Boukhelifa, And our correspondent in Ramallah, Alice Frussard
The Saudi announcement came ahead of Joe Biden’s unprecedented Tel Aviv/Jeddah direct flight, the first of its kind between Israel and Saudi Arabia, which does not officially recognize the Jewish state. In a sign of relaxation, Riyadh announced this morning that it would open its airspace to all entities, including Israeli entities. The Saudi gesture was immediately welcomed by Jewish state officials. So Israeli airlines no longer need to travel long distances to reach Far East Asian countries.
When a plane takes off from Tel Aviv International Airport and heads east, it can fly over Saudi territory without any problems. ” This is a first step “Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid Says” thank you According to Saudi Arabia’s Transport Minister Merav Michaeli, this measure will be taken Helps strengthen relations between Israel and other countries in the Middle East “
Transfer of sovereignty of Tiran and Sanafir Islands
The Saudis are not the only ones pointing to the Jewish state. The Israeli media is also heralding an initiative by their leaders for the great Gulf monarchies. The Jewish state will ratify an agreement between the Americans, Egyptians and Saudis on the transfer of sovereignty over the islands of Tiran and Sanafir to Riyadh. Egypt already returned the islands to Saudi Arabia in 2017. But Israel still had one thing to say.
Because these two strategic islands, located in the Red Sea, significantly allow access to the Israeli port of Ela. After the Six Day War in 1967, they were occupied by the Jewish state. The Israeli army finally withdrew from the islands in 1979 under a peace treaty between Israel and Egypt. Since then, the two islands have been demilitarized and a multinational force is present there. It is on the basis of this power that Israel has a say in changing the sovereignty of these two islands.
Desire for a two-state Israel/Palestine solution
This Friday morning, Joe Biden visited the occupied West Bank this morning where the Palestinian Authority sits, chaired by Mamoud Abbas. After an almost scathing speech by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who listed the Americans’ demands, the White House chief was not surprised, the report said. Alice Frussard, Our correspondent in Ramallah.
He first recalled his attachment to the two-state solution, where each individual ” Should be treated with dignity », while giving a rare nod to the difficulties faced by Palestinians. ” I know the goal seems so far away to you, he said When travel restrictions, or everyday concerns for your children’s safety are real and immediate “
Joe Biden was also expected in his speech on the Shireen Abu Aqleh issue, saying that he “ Salute to important work “Journalists, call to do” all light at his death, a huge loss But managed to miss his name. In front of about twenty journalists who wore a famous black t-shirt with their colleague’s face on it.
Economic progress for Palestinians
But Joe Biden didn’t have much to promise the Palestinians besides economic progress: funding for UNRWA, the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees and hospitals in East Jerusalem, the installation of an Internet network broadband, 4G.
Not what the Palestinians expected. They wanted to reopen a consulate in East Jerusalem, for example, or significantly reverse the Trump administration’s legacy on the Israeli-Palestinian file. Because, say the Palestinians, To achieve this, talk of peace is not enough, we must first end the occupation “
As of now, the Saudi leg of Joe Biden’s Middle East tour is a minefield for the president, who has pledged to put human rights at the center of his diplomacy. Still a candidate, Joe Biden promised the oil monarchy ” the pariah “Because of Saudi journalist and critic Jamal Khashoggi was killedAnd once elected, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) released a scathing report on accountability.
In Jeddah on Friday, Joe Biden will meet with King Salman and then join his team in talks with MBS, the kingdom’s de facto ruler, and Saudi ministers.
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