Thursday, July 25, 2024

How a U.S.-Saudi Deal Could Reshape the Middle East

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SUBSCRIBER+ EXCLUSIVE ANALYSIS — It’s a tantalizing dream for diplomats and longtime observers of the Middle East: A grand bargain that would normalize relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel, pause or end the war in Gaza, and deliver at least a roadmap to a Palestinian state. It’s also widely seen as a non-starter for the current Israeli government – and with that in mind, the U.S. is now pursuing a major strategic arrangement of its own with Saudi Arabia.

The two countries are reportedly close to finalizing a deal that would include U.S. security commitments to Saudi Arabia, a deepening U.S. military presence in the region and the cementing of a relationship that could serve as a bulwark against Iran as well as growing Chinese and Russian influence in the region. There are also economic benefits to be had for both nations – including civilian nuclear assistance for Saudi Arabia – as well as the prospect of pursuing that broader arrangement with Israel once this deal is done.

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