Saudi King demands Palestinian state, hits Trump over J'lem move

Monarch condemns Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, move embassy. 'Jerusalem is part of Palestine', says Salman.

David Rosenberg , | updated: 15:57

Trump and Saudi King Salman
Trump and Saudi King Salman

The King of Saudi Arabia criticized President Donald Trump on Sunday over his declaration in December recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and announcing plans to relocate the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Speaking at the opening of the 29th Arab Summit of the Arab League in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia on Sunday, King Salman bin Abdulaziz rejected US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, adding that the Islamic kingdom views eastern Jerusalem as an “integral part” of a future Palestinian state.

"We reiterate our rejection of the US decision on Jerusalem," the King said in his speech Sunday.

"East Jerusalem is an integral part of the Palestinian territories," the king added.

King Salman emphasized that despite the change in US policy vis-à-vis Jerusalem, and the Trump administration’s refusal to explicitly commit to a two-state solution, his country viewed the establishment of a Palestinian state as a top priority.

“The Palestinian issue is of the utmost importance for us, and will remain so until an independent Palestinian state is established with East Jerusalem as its capital.”

During his speech, King Salman also blasted Iran over what he termed Tehran’s “blatant interference” in the Arab world.

“We renew our strong condemnation of Iran’s terrorist acts in the Arab region and reject its blatant interference in the affairs of Arab countries.”