Riyadh – Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman during his Fox News interview has affirmed that Saudi Arabia and Israel are drawing closer every day in their discussions regarding normalization of relations, while emphasizing the continued importance of addressing the Palestinian issue.
Prince Mohammed Bin Salman expressed a commitment to finding a solution that meets Palestinian needs and contributes to regional stability. He referred to the potential agreement as “the biggest historical deal since the end of the Cold War”, with its foundation resting on agreements related to the treatment of the Palestinian people.
Acknowledging the progress made in negotiations, he stated, “We got to see where we go”. The Crown Prince reiterated his desire to enhance the quality of life for Palestinians and to incorporate Israel as a regional partner.
Regarding current U.S.-Saudi relations, Prince Mohammed Bin Salman praised the collaborative efforts with President Joe Biden across various fronts. He described President Biden as “focused and well-prepared” and highlighted their cooperation on critical matters such as the Middle East peace process, Yemen ceasefire, security, and technology investments.
The Fox News interview marked his first engagement with a major American news network since 2019.
Global Concerns about Nuclear Weapons
The Crown Prince expressed global concerns about the use of nuclear weapons, emphasizing that any country resorting to such action would be initiating a war against the rest of the world.
He stressed the importance of avoiding another Hiroshima and underlined the futility of pursuing nuclear weapons, given their inability to be used without global repercussions.
In response to a question about Saudi Arabia’s stance if Iran acquired nuclear weapons, the Crown Prince said, “If they get one, we have to get one”, for reasons of security and regional power balance.
However, he reiterated Saudi Arabia’s preference for a world without nuclear weapons.
Energy Policy and Supply-Demand Dynamics
Prince Mohammed defended Saudi Arabia’s energy policy and its recent decision to reduce oil production.
He clarified that the country’s actions are guided by supply and demand considerations rather than assisting Russia in its conflict in Ukraine.
He stated that Saudi Arabia’s role within OPEC+ is to maintain market stability by responding to supply and demand imbalances.
Balancing Relations with Russia and Ukraine
On Saudi Arabia’s relationships with Russia and Ukraine, the Crown Prince emphasized that the kingdom maintains good ties with both nations and plays an active role in seeking solutions to their challenges.
He highlighted Saudi Arabia’s vote against the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Economic Diversification and Sports Development
The interview also touched on Saudi Arabia’s efforts to diversify its economy, including investments in sports.
Prince Mohammed discussed the positive impact of sports development on the economy, stating, “If sports washing increases my GDP by one percent, then I will continue doing sportswashing”.
He emphasized the importance of working on all sectors to achieve economic diversification, including tourism, culture, entertainment, and sports.
“If you want to diversify an economy, you have to work on all sectors: mining, infrastructure, tourism, transportation. If you want to have tourism, you have to develop your culture, entertainment and sport sectors. Tourism used to contribute 3% to our GDP. Today, it’s 7%. Sport used to contribute 0.4%, today it’s 1.5%. And in tourism, we are aiming at getting 100 million visits by 2030. Last year, we reached around 40 million visits.”
The Crown Prince described Saudi Arabia as the “greatest success story” of the 21st century, citing ambitious projects across various sectors and the kingdom’s growing role in the global economy.
“Saudi Arabia is so big, so I’m quite sure most any person on the world, directly or indirectly, you have something to do with Saudi Arabia”, he said.
“We have the most ambitious projects in all sectors on the planet. This’s the story of this century. You want to miss it or not, your call”, he said.
He emphasized the vast opportunities for international engagement with Saudi Arabia in the 21st century.