Former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who played a key role in brokering the Abraham Accords under the Trump administration, said that a normalization agreement between Saudi Arabia and Israel would be “impossible” if it hinges on the establishment of a Palestinian state.
“It is impossible to imagine a two-state solution with the current Palestinian leadership who is underwriting terrorism, taking money from Iran, paying citizens to kill Israelis,” Pompeo told The Jerusalem Post.
“It is very difficult to imagine how one would strike a deal with the very leaders that have rejected every reasonable offer with which they have been presented,” he added.
His remarks come a day after Nayef al-Sudairi, Saudi Arabia’s first ambassador to the Palestinian Authority, visited Ramallah. During his visit, al-Sudairi underscored that the establishment of a Palestinian state with eastern Jerusalem as its capital as a foundational element of any forthcoming agreement with Israel. “The Arab Peace Initiative is the central point of any upcoming agreement,” al-Sudairi affirmed.
Saudi Arabia’s Arab Peace Initiative, ratified by the Arab League in 2002, mandates a full Israeli withdrawal from Judea and Samaria and the Golan Heights and calls for the creation of a Palestinian state with eastern Jerusalem as its capital. It also seeks a “just settlement” for the Palestinian refugee question, which, in most iterations, would spell the end of the Jewish state by demographic means.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, discussing potential normalization with Saudi Arabia at the United Nations General Assembly, insisted, “We must not give the Palestinians a veto over new peace treaties with Arab states.” He suggested that while Palestinians could significantly benefit from broader peace, they “should not have a veto over the process.”
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, in a conversation with Fox News, highlighted the importance of resolving the Palestinian issue. He stated, “We got to see where we go. We hope that will reach a place that will ease the life of the Palestinians and get Israel as a player in the Middle East.”
Pompeo remained optimistic about American support for a normalization agreement, regardless of the political affiliation of the U.S. president. He asserted that security relations between the United States, Saudi Arabia, and Israel align with America’s interests. Nonetheless, Pompeo opined that peace might be “more easily attainable with a Republican president,” citing a shared perception of Iran as the region’s primary threat.
He attributed the progress of the Abraham Accords to the Trump administration’s recognition of Israel as a key democratic ally in the region and Iran as a major sponsor of terrorism. “When we isolate Iran, the region becomes more peaceful and prosperous,” Pompeo concluded.