Verifiably limiting Jewish settlements in the West Bank, improving the living and travel conditions of Palestinians there, extending Palestinian administration over most of its populated areas in accordance with the Oslo Accords, agreeing on general actions on the ground that preserve the option of a two-state solution: these would be the conditions set by Joe Biden in his meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu - on the sidelines of the UN assembly in NY - for a normalization agreement with Saudi Arabia, according to Thomas Friedman, the two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist, author of numerous best-selling essays and one of America's most authoritative commentators on international affairs. A turning point that would require a government of national unity.
"Bibi - he writes reporting what Biden allegedly said to the Israeli leader - you want this agreement that would normalize relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia. I want it too. But to get this deal, I will have to do something really difficult: make a mutual defense pact with Saudi Arabia and perhaps accept some sort of civilian nuclear program for the Kingdom under strict control. The Saudi leader, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, will have to do something really difficult: normalize relations between the headquarters of Islam's two holiest sites, Mecca and Medina, with the Jewish state. And now you're going to have to do something difficult too." What makes the situation difficult is the fact that Netanyahu's current ruling coalition supports the annexation of the West Bank to Israel and therefore the prime minister should aim for a different government, of national unity.
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