Israel’s Minister of Energy, Israel Katz. Photo/REUTERS
TEL AVIV – The Israeli Minister of Energy opposed the possibility of Saudi Arabia developing a civilian nuclear program as a condition for the normalization of bilateral relations.
Speaking to Ynet TV on Monday (5/6/2023), Israel’s Minister of Energy, Israel Katz, answered a question about the prospective Saudi civilian nuclear program by stating, “Of course, Israel doesn’t encourage such things. I don’t think Israel should agree to such things.”
The issue stems from a March report by The New York Times that Saudi Arabia made a condition for normalizing relations with Israel that Riyadh be allowed to develop its own nuclear program for civilian purposes, among other conditions.
However, the report was not confirmed by Saudi and US officials.
Tel Aviv has long been concerned about the nuclear programs adopted by other countries in the region such as Iraq, Syria and Libya before, and, currently, Iran, even if it is for civilian and energy purposes.
Those worries now appear to extend to Saudi Arabia, despite Israel’s desperate attempts to strike a normalization deal with the Kingdom.
As an ally of Israel, the United States continues to make diplomatic efforts to broker a historic agreement.
Tel Aviv made clear last week that it hoped to consult with Washington on any deals that it allegedly affected its national security.