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Israel-Saudi deal still in progress as U.S. says no framework agreed upon – National

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The White House said on Wednesday there was no agreed framework to codify a deal that would have Saudi Arabia recognize Israel, adding a lot of talks would be needed before any such agreement could be signed.

U.S. officials have sought for months to reach what would be a deal that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says would be a huge step toward ending the Arab-Israeli conflict but that Riyadh has signaled would rest on Palestinian statehood.

National security spokesperson John Kirby played down a report in the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday that said the United States and Saudi Arabia had agreed on the broad contours.

“There’s still a lot of discussing to happen here. There’s still a lot of conversations that have to occur before we get there,” he said.

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“There is no agreed-to set of negotiations, there’s no agreed-to framework to codify normalization or any of the other security considerations that we and our friends have in the region,” he continued

Kirby also said President Joe Biden would meet Netanyahu “somewhere in the United States” later this year but sidestepped a question about whether the encounter would be at the White House.

Israel’s national security adviser said on July 18 that Biden had extended an invitation to Netanyahu to visit the White House, but U.S. officials have not yet confirmed that.

-Reporting by Jeff Mason; writing by Doina Chiacu and David Ljunggren; editing by Jonathan Oatis


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