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Op-Ed video: A Saudi-Israel deal will happen. It's a question of when, not if

Israel, Saudi Arabia and the United States have very specific individual interests, but the major challenge they will all face is the issue of Palestine, argues Chris Doyle

A Saudi Arabia-Israel normalisation deal will happen, it's a question of "when, not if," says Chris Doyle, the director of the Council for Arab-British Understanding (CAABU).

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wants the deal to boost his growing unpopularity, and wants to use  the normalisation to cement his legacy as the Israeli leader who sealed a deal with one of the Arab world's richest powers.

US President Joe Biden wants to be the deal's handmaiden, and views it as a vital foreign policy success ahead of the 2024 election. 

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia's powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has a very detailed shopping list, and wants US weaponry, a defence agreement and a civilian nuclear programme in exchange for normalisation.

"The major challenge, however, is the issue of Palestine," says Doyle.

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"Saudi Arabia has made clear that it wishes to see some serious progress on this. It has been in regular discussions with the Palestinian leadership who have also been in Saudi Arabia. 

"Just quite where they will set the lines is not clear."

Chris Doyle is the director of CAABU (Council for Arab-British Understanding). As the lead spokesperson for CAABU and as an acknowledged expert on the region, Chris is a frequent commentator on TV and Radio and gives numerous talks around the country on issues such as the Arab Spring, Libya, Syria, Palestine, Iraq, Islamophobia and the Arabs in Britain. He has had numerous articles published in the British and international media. He has organized and accompanied numerous British Parliamentary delegations to Arab countries.
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