JERUSALEM — Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen on Wednesday held out the prospect of a future visit to Saudi Arabia and said at least one more Arab country would normalize ties with Israel this year.
"This [visit to Saudi Arabia] is on the table, there is no date yet," Cohen said, speaking to Israel's Army Radio during a state visit to Azerbaijan.
In 2020, Israel reached accords to normalize ties with Saudi Arabia's Gulf neighbors, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. Morocco was later included in the so-called Abraham Accords.
It has made no secret of its desire for closer ties with Saudi Arabia, which has held back on formally recognizing Israel in the absence of a resolution to Palestinian statehood goals. Earlier this week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said normalization with Riyadh would be a "giant step" toward ending the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Cohen said at least one more country would join the Abraham Accords this year, without elaborating.
He added that the issue of normalizing relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia came up during US Republican Senator Lindsey Graham's meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman this week.
"The enemy of Saudi Arabia is certainly not Israel. Its enemy is Iran," Cohen said on Wednesday.
Saudi Arabia and Iran ended years of hostility following a China-brokered agreement in March. When asked about the restoration of ties between Riyadh and Tehran, Cohen said that such a development could bode well for Israel.
"It is precisely this thing that can lead to a balancing act of [Saudi Arabia] moving closer to Israel," he said.
Earlier on Wednesday, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Jeddah, where the two discussed the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories, the Palestinian WAFA news agency reported.