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Eying Normalization, Saudi Arabia Changes Its Tone on Israel

MIN READOct 26, 2020 | 20:40 GMT

An image shows the national flag of Saudi Arabia.

(Negro Elkha/Shutterstock.com)

Saudi media commentary on Sudan’s new normalization deal with Israel suggests Riyadh is trying to prepare its citizens for the formalizing of their country’s own ties with Israel. Saudi state-owned media outlets, including Al Arabiya, Arab News and Al Riyadh have either syndicated articles published by foreign outlets, such as the Associated Press, or have published their own largely factual, uncritical articles on the news. As of Oct. 26, the Saudi monarchy also has yet to take diplomatic or even symbolic steps to signal its disapproval of Sudan’s move to normalize its Israeli ties. The Saudi government likely banned media from criticizing other Arab Gulf states’ push to normalize their ties with Israel, as Riyadh explores its own path toward a more public and formal relationship with the country. ...

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