RIYAD – Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud reaffirmed support for Palestinians on Tuesday as he made a telephone call to US President Donald Trump, a day after his son and heir apparent made pro-Israel comments, state media confirmed.
The position of Saudi Arab on the Israel-Palestine conflict became visibly controversial on Monday when Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman expressed that Israeli, as well as Palestinians, had right to their lands, however, according to official Saudi Press Agency king Salman ‘reaffirmed the kingdom’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 king also emphasised the need to advance the Middle East peace process as he spoke to Trump, days after Israeli forces killed 17 Palestinians during a demonstration on its border with Gaza.
The Oil-rich kingdom has no diplomatic ties with Israel, however, behind the scenes, the political observers claim that under Mohammed bin Salman, known by the initials MBS, the ties are being cemented.
The 32-year-old Crown Prince, who is currently on US tour, met pro-Israeli leaders and also spoke to different media outlets, with the most noticeable interaction with ‘The Atlantic’, in which the prince admitted the right of Israelis to their land, signalling a shift in the Israel-specific diplomacy.
“I believe that each people, anywhere, has a right to live in their peaceful nation and Palestinians and the Israelis have the right to have their own land,” said the defacto leader of the state, home to Islam’s holiest sites.
The 32-year-old prince, who is on a three week US tour, continued that ‘we have to have a peace agreement to assure the stability for everyone and to have normal relations.’
To another question about a religion-based objection to the existence of Israel, Prince Mohammed replied that they have religious concerns about the fate of the holy mosque in Jerusalem and about the rights of the Palestinian people.