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Saudi foreign minister: *Now* would be a very good time for serious negotiations on Palestine


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Hot Air

Ed Morrissey

October 17, 2020

How much more throat-clearing do the Saudis have to do before the message gets delivered in Ramallah? A little over a week ago, Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz appeared on Saudi state television outlet al-Arabiya to air a lot of the Palestinians’ dirty laundry to a nation who’d been fed a steady diet of pro-PLO propaganda for decades. Bandar laid out not just how the Palestinians had rejected multiple opportunities to get a state on their own terms, but had also stabbed the Saudis and other Arab nations in the back all along the way.

While the Saudis haven’t committed one way or the other publicly yet to normalizing ties with Israel, the steps taken by their Arab allies clearly has had their tacit approval, at least. That may be getting a lot less tacit, as remarks yesterday from Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister explicitly acknowledged a desire for normalizing relations with Israel, as long as the Palestinian question gets resolved:

Quote

Saudi Arabia has always envisioned that normalization with Israel would happen, but the current focus should be on bringing Palestinians and Israelis back to the negotiating table, Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said yesterday.

“We have always envisioned that normalization [with Israel] would happen, but we also need to have a Palestinian state and a Palestinian-Israeli peace plan,” the Saudi FM said during a webinar with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

“In the end, the only thing that can deliver lasting peace and lasting stability is an agreement between the Palestinians and the Israelis. The process of peace is a strategic necessity to the region, he added.

Asked if the recent peace deal signed between the UAE and Bahrain with Israel helped the process, Prince Faisal said it “does help lay the groundwork” to get the Palestinians and Israelis back to the negotiating table.

Faisal also explained why the Saudis aren’t nearly as concerned about the Palestinians as they once were. Iran is now the security focus for the Gulf states, and Israel is an ally rather than an enemy in that conflict:

(Snip)

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