Saudi King Salman reaffirmed Tuesday his country’s commitment to the establishment of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital. The statement comes less than a day after the Saudi crown prince unofficially recognized Israel’s right to exist.
Saudi King Salman Photo Credit: Russian Presidential Press and Information Office
Saudi King Salman reiterated the kingdom’s support for a Palestinian state on Tuesday, hours after his son was quoted as unofficially recognizing Israel’s right to exists.
The 82-year-old leader reaffirmed Saudi Arabia’s “steadfast position towards the Palestinian issue and the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people to an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital,” the Saudi Press Agency reported today, according to Reuters.
Reuters stated that the report by Saudi Arabia’s official news agency did not mention Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s statements about Israel, which were made during an interview with The Atlantic. When asked by the magazine’s Jeffrey Goldberg whether the Jewish people should have a nation-state in at least part of Israel, the 32-year-old heir to the throne replied: “I believe that each people, anywhere, has a right to live in their peaceful nation. I believe the Palestinians and the Israelis have the right to have their own land.”
While Saudi Arabia has never had any formal diplomatic relations with Israel, reports of back-channel talks between Jerusalem and Riyadh have recently been surfacing and some have even been semi-confirmed by Israeli officials. The catalyst for this apparent development is the countries’ shared position on Iran and its activities in the region. Both Israel and Saudi Arabia view Tehran as the greatest threat to the stability in the Middle East.