A well-connected former general in the Saudi military has said the kingdom would open an embassy in Tel Aviv if Israel accepted a Saudi initiative to end the Middle East conflict. Anwar Eshki was asked during an Al Jazeera interview how long it would be before Riyadh would open an embassy in Israel. “You can ask Mr. Netanyahu,” Eshki replied, referring to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the Jerusalem Post reported on its website. “If he announces that he accepts the initiative and gives all rights to Palestinians, Saudi Arabia will start to make an embassy in Tel Aviv,” Eshki said. Eshki met publicly in June with Dore Gold just before the latter was appointed director-general of the Israeli foreign ministry. Gold said then Israel had contacts with “almost every Arab state.” In the interview, Eshki said the Saudis are not interested in “Israel becoming isolated in the region.” Saudi Arabia first proposed the peace initiative in 2002, offering Arab recognition of Israel in exchange for Israel’s withdrawal from the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
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