Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he met visiting US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and explored ways to forge official ties with Saudi Arabia.
The two discussed “the next steps to deepen the Abraham Accords and expand the circle of peace, with emphasis on a breakthrough regarding Saudi Arabia,” Netanyahu’s office said in a statement on Thursday.
The Abraham Accords are a series of normalisation deals signed in 2020 in which the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Morocco agreed to establish official ties with Israel, breaking the country’s relative isolation in the Middle East, Xinhua news agency report.
Upon his return to office last December, Netanyahu declared that he wish to form diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia, a move that he hopes will “bring an end to the Arab-Israeli conflict”.
Netanyahu and Sullivan also discussed “joint efforts to stop the Iranian nuclear programme and Iran’s actions in the region,” the office said.
Sullivan is the most senior US official to visit Israel since Netanyahu’s new extreme-right government was inaugurated last December. The swearing-in of this coalition government, which includes ministers who advocate the annexation of the occupied West Bank and voice anti-Arab rhetoric, has caused discontent in the administration of US President Joe Biden.