A Saudi Foreign Ministry statement on the ongoing discussions between Saudi Arabia and the United States regarding the path of Arab-Israeli peace, has reaffirmed the Kingdom’s clear position, since the outbreak of the war in the Gaza Strip on Oct. 7, on peace in the Middle East.
Saudi Arabia stressed on Wednesday that it “conveyed its firm position to the US administration and that there would be no diplomatic relations with Israel unless the independent Palestinian state is recognized on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, the Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip is stopped, and all members of the Israeli occupation forces are withdrawn from the Gaza Strip.”
The statement, which was issued a day after a meeting between Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Riyadh, reiterated Saudi Arabia’s steadfast position towards the Palestinian issue, and “the need for the brotherly Palestinian people to obtain their legitimate rights.”
Political analyst Munif Al-Harbi noted that the Saudi statement came in the wake of leaks, whether by regional or international media outlets, or official statements by some countries, such as the United States and Israel, on this issue, as Saudi Arabia wanted to emphasize that the path to bringing peace should first start by ending the aggression on Gaza.
This has been the Saudi effort since the joint Arab-Islamic summit in Riyadh and the ministerial committee emanating from it, and also the development of the important roadmap, which is the establishment of a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.
Ibrahim Rayhan, journalist and political writer, agreed with Al-Harbi, telling Asharq Al-Awsat: “It must be pointed out that the Saudi position stems from a historical commitment to stand by the Palestinian people to obtain their legitimate rights to build an independent state with all the characteristics of an actual state, and not an autonomous region.”
This Saudi position helps “shift the US position towards pressuring Israel to make concessions to the Palestinians, the first of which is stopping the aggression on Gaza, and then recognizing the right of the Palestinians to establish an independent state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital,” Rayhan added.
He also stressed that Washington attaches utmost importance to the strategic agreement it seeks to forge with Riyadh, which gives Saudi Arabia an important pressure card to make both the US and Israel recognize the Palestinian rights.