Saudi’s Prince Mohammed Bin Salman: A Diplomatic Force in Israel-Hamas Conflict By Zekeri Idakwo 

Saudi Arabia's King, Mohammed Bin Salman..
Saudi Arabia’s King, Mohammed Bin Salman..


By Zekeri Idakwo

The recent outbreak of violence between Israel and Hamas has captured the world’s attention and heightened concerns about regional stability. The conflict has serious implications for peace in the Middle East.

Among the key players involved in the efforts to contain the conflict and prevent its escalation is Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), who has emerged as a diplomatic force in the Middle East.

The King has been praised for his diplomatic skills and willingness to engage with all parties involved in the crisis.

MBS, the heir to the Saudi throne, has been in talks with various parties, including the US, Iran, and Israel, to explore ways to end the violence and ease the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. He has also expressed his support for the Palestinian cause and the need to find a lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

MBS and the US

The desert kingdom’s King has maintained a close relationship with the US, a mutual ally with Israel, and has been in frequent contact with President Joe Biden, who has been leading the diplomatic efforts to broker a ceasefire. According to the White House, Biden and MBS spoke recently as part of efforts to prevent the conflict from spreading and drawing in more countries and groups.

President Biden has praised MBS for his role in the peace process and has urged him to use his influence to persuade other Arab and Muslim countries to normalise relations with Israel, following the example of the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco, and Sudan, which signed the Abraham Accords last year. A normalisation deal between Saudi Arabia and Israel would be a significant foreign policy victory for Biden and would enhance Israel’s acceptance in the Muslim world, particularly considering Saudi Arabia’s role as the custodian of Islam’s holiest sites.

MBS and Iran

MBS has also reached out to Iran, Saudi Arabia’s regional rival and a key supporter of Hamas, in a surprising move that signals hope resolving in the tense relations between the two countries. MBS received a call recently from the Iranian leader, Ebrahim Raisi, during which they discussed “the current military situation in Gaza and its environs,” the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said. It was their first call since a surprise rapprochement in March.

MBS told Raisi that Riyadh is “communicating with all international and regional parties to stop the ongoing escalation,” SPA said. He also stressed “the kingdom’s firm position towards supporting the Palestinian cause,” it said. Iranian state news agency IRNA also reported on the call, saying the two men discussed the “need to end war crimes against Palestine.”

The phone call between MBS and Raisi reflects a rare moment of cooperation between the two countries, which have been locked in a proxy war for years, backing opposing sides in conflicts in Yemen, Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon. The dialogue between MBS and Raisi could pave the way for a broader de-escalation of tension in the region and a revival of the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, which Saudi Arabia opposed.

MBS and Israel

MBS has also been in touch with Israel, a country that Saudi Arabia has never had diplomatic relations with, but has been working to normalise ties with in recent months. MBS said in an interview with Fox News that his country was moving “closer” each day toward reaching a normalisation deal with Israel, the first time he has publicly acknowledged the process.

When asked about the kingdom’s demands for normalisation, MBS said he hopes the deal will “reach a place that will ease the life of the Palestinians,” stopping short of calling for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, which has been Riyadh’s official stance for two decades. MBS said that if a deal is reached with Israel, his country is willing to work with whoever is in power, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has made normalisation with the kingdom a priority for his government.

King Salman’s involvement in the Israel-Hamas war demonstrates his ambition and influence in the Middle East, as well as his willingness to engage with different actors to achieve his strategic goals. MBS’s diplomatic efforts could have a significant impact on the outcome of the conflict and the future of the region, as he seeks to balance his interests and alliances, while also addressing the humanitarian and political needs of the Palestinians.

MBS’ role as a diplomatic force in the Israel-Hamas conflict could also shape his image and reputation in the international arena, as he tries to overcome the criticism and controversy that have marred his leadership in the past.


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