Arab peace plan: Saudi Arabia gives condition for ties with Israel

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The kingdom of Saudi Arabia said it is ready for close ties with Israel if the Jewish nation strikes peace with the Palestinians.

The Kingdom’s Foreign Minister, Prince Faisal bin Farhan, who revealed this said Saudi Arabia will stick to the Arab Peace Plan in its relations with Israel.

The Saudi prince said: “When we sponsored the Arab Peace Plan in 2002, we fully envisioned that there would eventually be relations between all Arab states, including Saudi Arabia, and Israel if the condition is met.

“Saudi Arabia remains committed to peace as a strategic option based on the Arab Peace Plan and relevant international resolutions enabling the Palestinian people to establish their own state with East Jerusalem as its capital.”

To strengthen relationship with her Arab-Muslim neighbours, last week, Israel and the UAE established diplomatic relations for the first time.

In an agreement brokered by the US, Israel also suspended plans to annex swaths of the occupied West Bank.

Prince Faisal voiced cautious optimism over the agreement. “Any efforts that result in holding back the threat of annexation could be viewed as positive,” he said.

Under the 2002 Saudi-sponsored Arab Peace Plan, Israel would withdraw from Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, in exchange for peace and normalization of relations.

Speaking on the development, Saudi political analyst, and international relations expert, Dr. Hamdan Al-Shehri told Arab News, “As a leader of the Muslim world, Saudi Arabia would never forsake the Palestinians and their struggle for an independent state side by side with Israel.

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“That has always been Saudi Arabia’s position and the Saudi position today. Palestinians are, were, and will always be very dear to us. We will always stand by them,” he said.

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