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Saudi king reaffirms support for Palestinian state

Saudi king reaffirms support for Palestinian state

Saudi Arabia keeps its continued support to the independent Palestinian state, said King Salman before a United States-led conference on Middle East peace and security, the state-run Saudi Press Agency reported on Wednesday.

The Saudi ruler King Salman reaffirmed his support to Palestine during his meeting with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas. The historic meeting took place on Tuesday in Saudi Arabia’s capital, Riyadh. According to the king, his country “permanently stands by Palestine and its people’s right to an independent state with the occupied East Jerusalem as its capital,” reported the official statement.

Before the two-day conference announced last month, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that foreign ministers from around the world would attend to take up the “destabilising influence” of Iran in the Middle East. The conference will discuss the issues of peace and security as well the further developments in the region but the Palestinian government has labelled the Warsaw conference an “American conspiracy”, that is why President Abbas has refused talks with the US until it starts what it calls a more balanced policy.

The pledge comes as the US is expected to offer hints of its proposals for peace between Israel and the Palestinians at a conference in Poland’s capital, Warsaw. But with most major European powers sending low-level representation, the US and Poland have toned down the agenda, saying the gathering is not focused on Iran but rather looking more broadly at the Middle East.

Saudi Arabia, Palestine: ‘Deal of the century’

Palestine’s president Mahmoud Abbas informed King Salman on the latest developments in the independent Palestinian state and discussed the political process in light of the continued Israeli violations against the Palestinian people. Both national leaders discussed the issues of land, and holy sites, and attempts to pass the ‘deal of the century’.

Jared Kushner, senior adviser to the US president, who has been putting the final touches on an unprecedented deal for the Middle East, will make a rare speaking appearance at the conference in Warsaw on Thursday. However, Mr Kushner is not expected to unveil the proposal until after the April 9 election in Israel.

Kushner, whose family is close to Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, will reportedly visit the Middle East by the end of this month, during which he is expected to make a stop in Saudi Arabia. The White House faces a difficult task in selling any deal to the Palestinian Authority, which remains livid over his landmark 2017 decision to recognise Jerusalem – claimed by both peoples – as Israel’s capital.