Diplomatic Relations with Israel only if there is a Palestinian state: Saudi Arabia

There have been rumours for some time that Saudi Arabia is going to establish full diplomatic relations with Israel. The two Arab states, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain signed an agreement with Israel last September to normalize diplomatic relations. Rumours have been circulating since then that Saudi Arabia is also on its way to the UAE and Bahrain.

However, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud has denied the allegations. Last Friday, he said Riyadh would normalize relations with Israel only if Palestine became an independent sovereign state.

In 2002, Saudi Arabia launched a proposal called the Peace Initiative to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Arab League approved it that year. The resolution says Arab countries will normalize relations with Israel as soon as they give up all Palestinian-occupied land.

Al-Jazeera reports that Prince Faisal Farhan took part in the annual meeting of the Mediterranean Dialogue (MD) in Rome, Italy, via video conference. There, he said, “there is a need for a peace treaty (with Israel) through which a dignified and effective sovereign independent state is formed for the Palestinians.” Saudi Arabia plans to normalize relations with Israel in exchange for the creation of a Palestinian state along the 196 border.

Prince Faisal added that the (Saudi-Israeli) agreement could be negotiated. But more important is to bring Israel and Palestine back to the negotiating table in order to reach a just agreement.


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