|13 February, 2020

Saudi FM: No plans for Saudi-Israeli meeting

There are no relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel and the Kingdom stands firmly behind Palestine: Foreign minister

LONDON: There are no plans for Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to meet with Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to the Kingdom's foreign minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan.

Speaking to Al-Arabiya, the prince also said Saudi Arabia's policy toward Palestine remained "firm."

Talking about media speculation in Israel that Netanyahu sought a meeting with the Saudi crown prince following President Donald Trump's Middle East peace plan announcement, Prince Faisal said: “There is no meeting planned between Saudi Arabia and Israel. Saudi Arabia’s policy has been very clear since the beginning of this conflict. There are no relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel and the Kingdom stands firmly behind Palestine."

He also talked about Sudan, after Netanyahu spoke to the head of the Sudan Transitional Sovereign Council in Uganda on Feb. 3, saying: “Sudan is a sovereign nation. They can assess their own sovereign interests.”

The foreign minister reiterated the Saudi position on the peace plan, which called for talks between the two side to ensure that the "legitimate rights of the Palestinian people" were observed.

Prince Faisal told Al-Arabiya English: “As we have said in the past, Saudi Arabia along with the other members of the Arab league has always shown a willingness to normalize relations with Israel if there is a just and fair settlement that is agreed by both Palestine and Israel. Short of that, Saudi policy will remain steadfast.

“The policy of Saudi Arabia towards Palestine is firm. Saudi Arabia welcomes any attempt to resolve the Middle East crisis. This has nothing to do with Saudi Arabia’s commitment towards the issue.”

The foreign minister was asked in the Kingdom had shared interests with Israel on policy toward Iran, to which he responded: “It is not difficult to find countries that have issues with Iran in the Arab world, the European Union, or the United States. Any overlap in interests would not be unique to Saudi Arabia.”

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