Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Monday at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC).
The two leaders met together with Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer and then held an expanded meeting in which the Prime Minister’s Military Secretary, Maj.-Gen. Avi Gil, and National Security Council Deputy Director for Foreign Policy Avivit Bar-Ilan also participated, according to the prime minister’s office.
“I told Saudi Arabia I’d like to upgrade our relationship. We have to do it in a way that would be reassuring to our friends in Israel. I want to help President Biden. I told the Crown Prince that the best time to upgrade our relationship is now, that President Biden is very interested in normalizing relationships with Saudi Arabia and in turn, Saudi Arabia recognizing the one and only Jewish state. To the extent I can help make that happen, I will do it,” Graham said.
“I believe that the Republican Party, writ large, would be glad to work with President Biden to change the relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia, that eventually could result in the recognition of Israel by the Saudi government. That is why I’m here. It will take a lot of effort, but it is worth trying,” he added.
Netanyahu encouraged the normalization agreement with Saudi Arabia.
“We want normalization and peace with Saudi Arabia. We view that as perhaps a giant leap towards ending the Arab-Israeli conflict. This agreement could have monumental consequences, historic consequences both for Israel, for Saudi Arabia, for the region and for the world,” he said in a statement.
“We welcome, obviously, the American participation by President Biden, by support from both sides of the aisle in Congress,” he added.
The meeting comes as Saudi Arabia has reached out to restore some relations with Iran in what could be a concerning twist to the efforts by Israel to build an agreement between the two countries.