Jun 8, 2024, 4:17 PM

Turkish expert told MNA;

Riyadh reluctant to endanger ties normalization with Israel

Riyadh reluctant to endanger ties normalization with Israel

TEHRAN, Jun. 08 (MNA) – Saudi Arabia is reluctant to jeopardize the potential normalization of relations with Tel Aviv,Asst. Prof. Dr. Engin KOÇ from Bursa Technical University has stressed.

Months have passed since the start of the brutal Israeli war on the Gaza Strip that left hundreds of thousands of Palestinian people martyred and injured. The Israeli massacre of innocent Palestinians before the eyes of the world has led to awakening of public opinion across the globe. Numerous marches have been held in support of the Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip and in condemnation of the crime of the regime of Tel Aviv. Muslim and non-Muslim people, in Islamic and non-Islamic states, have been constantly demanding an end to the Gaza war and an end to the sufferings of Palestinians. 

One of the greatest gatherings of Muslim people takes place every year in Saudi Arabia, when Muslims from different parts of the world gather to perform the Hajj rituals. The event is considered to be one of the significant opportunities for Muslims to raise their voice and denounce the ongoing war in the Gaza Strip.

Surprisingly, despite its calls for the stop of war in Gaza, Saudi Arabia has announced that the Hajj pilgrims are not allowed to chant anti-Israeli slogans or protest against the regime of Tel Aviv.

In order to shed more light on this issue, Mehr News Agency reached out to Asst. Prof. Dr. Engin KOÇ from Bursa Technical University Department of International Relations, asking his opinion on this matter.

"Strategically, Saudi Arabia is reluctant to jeopardize the potential normalization of relations with Tel Aviv. Riyadh's priorities include maintaining internal stability and focusing on national priorities, avoiding any new Arab Spring initiatives within the Kingdom. This approach reflects a balancing act between upholding religious duties and managing political and strategic interests," he said.

Elsewhere in the interview, he said that as the cradle of Islam and custodian of its holiest sites, Saudi Arabia has historically backed the Palestinian cause. However, it does not allow discussions or protests against Israel in the holy lands due to a complex interplay of religious, political, and strategic factors.

From a religious perspective, Riyadh's main task is to ensure the safety and sanctity of Hajj. Anti-Israel debates in Mecca risk turning the holy sites into political arenas, jeopardizing the peaceful pilgrimage. Saudi authorities fear that allowing political demonstrations could lead to unrest, endangering the security of the pilgrims, he continued.

"Politically, Saudi Arabia has been engaging in efforts to improve its relations with Israel to counterbalance Iran and strengthen its position in the region. Riyadh also does not want to elevate the image of Hamas in the Arab world, preferring a more silent approach to Israel and the situation in Gaza," he concluded.

Interview by Mohaddeseh Pakravan

News ID 216216


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