Vouching for a solution that does not harm the interests of the Palestinians, King Salman bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia had a telephonic conversation with US President Donald Trump following UAE’s decision to normalize ties with Israel.
According to the state news agency, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz told United States President Donald Trump that the Gulf country wanted to see an unbiased, fair and permanent solution for the Palestinians, which was the starting point for its 2002 Arab Peace Initiative. The Arabian leader took to discussing the issue with Trump following the US-brokered accord last month, under which the United Arab Emirates agreed to become the third Arab state after Egypt and Jordan to normalize ties with Israel. According to a White House Spokesman, during the call, Trump told King Salman that he welcomed that decision and that the two also discussed regional security.
Lauding the country’s efforts in backing peace between the two conflicted regions, King Salman mentioned that he wanted to see a fair and permanent solution to the Palestinian issue based on its Arab Peace Initiative. Under this initiative, a group of Arab nations had offered Israel normalized ties in return for a statehood deal with the Palestinians and full Israeli withdrawal from territory captured in the 1967 Middle East war.
Although Saudi Arabia’s stance on as the birthplace of Islam and the site of its holiest shrines does not recognize Israel, it mentioned it would allow flights between UAE and Israel, including by an Israeli aircraft, to use its airspace. Just last week, King Salman’s son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and Trump’s Senior Advisor Jared Kushner discussed the need for the Palestinians and the Israelis to resume negotiations and reach a lasting peace after Kushner visited the UAE last month.
Enraged by the “backstabbing” nature of the UAE-Isreal meet, Palestinians have voiced their rejection of the normalization deal. On Sunday, leaders of Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement and the Palestinian Hamas group met to discuss the US push for diplomatic normalization. Hamas chief Ismail Haniya and Hassan Nasrallah, head of the Iran-backed Shia Hezbollah movement, stressed the “stability” of the “axis of resistance” against Israel.