Palestinian conflict not an impediment to Israel-Saudi peace, minister says

In an interview with Saudi paper Elaf, the foreign minister says the government is working to bolster Palestinian economy and addresses Iranian threats on Israel's northern frontier

Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said the Palestinian conflict will not be an impediment to a normalization of relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia. In an interview that will be published on Monday in the Saudi Elaf newspaper, excerpts of which were seen by Ynet, Cohen said leaders in Israel and Riyadh will be making history.
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The current Israeli government will take steps to improve the Palestinian economy," Cohen said amid reports that the Saudis will demand such measures as some of the conditions of a possible peace agreement between the nations. "A visit to Israel, by a Saudi foreign minister would be a day of celebration," he said adding that governments led by prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu have already brought three peace deals.
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שר החוץ אלי כהן עם שרת החוץ של גרמניה, אנאלנה ברבוק בברלין
שר החוץ אלי כהן עם שרת החוץ של גרמניה, אנאלנה ברבוק בברלין
Eli Cohen
(Photo: Reuters)
Cohen told the Saudi outlet that Lebanon-based Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah was weak and hiding in his bunker "like a mouse." He said Israel could "dispatch Lebanon back to the stone age" and that Iran, which is the main funder of terrorism, is like a cancer that destroys every country it gets involved in. "The people of Iran view Israel as a democracy," he said.
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יורש העצר מוחמד בן סלמאן
יורש העצר מוחמד בן סלמאן
Mohammed bin Salman
(Photo: AFP/HO/SPA)
Cohen said in the interview that the opposition to Netanyahu's government is exaggerating concerns over the judicial legislation.
The Saudi Arabian Elaf had previously published articles based on information from "Israeli sources," and interviewed several senior Israeli officials before Cohen.
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