Saudi Arabia: 'Peace must be achieved with the Palestinians' before Israel deal

Saudi Arabia says it won't follow UAE and establish diplomatic ties with Israel until it seals a peace accord with the Palestinians.

AFP ,

Prince Faisal bin Farhan
Prince Faisal bin Farhan
Reuters

Saudi Arabia said Wednesday it would not follow the United Arab Emirates and establish diplomatic ties with Israel until the Jewish state had sealed a peace accord with the Palestinians.

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan told reporters on a visit to Berlin that "peace must be achieved with the Palestinians" on the basis of international agreements as a condition for any normalization of relations with Israel.

"Once that is achieved all things are possible," he said.

The surprise Israel-UAE deal last week is only the third such accord Israel has struck with an Arab country, after Egypt and Jordan, and raises the prospect of similar accords with other Gulf states.

Until now, Saudi Arabia, the Arab world's biggest economy, has maintained a conspicuous silence over the deal, but local officials have hinted that Riyadh is unlikely to immediately follow in the footsteps of its principle regional ally.

At a news conference with his German counterpart Heiko Maas, Prince Faisal reiterated criticism of Israel's "unilateral policies of annexation and building settlements" as "illegitimate" and "detrimental" to a "two-state solution."

Prince Faisal noted that Saudi Arabia had sponsored 2002 Arab peace initiatives holding out the prospect of a normalization of ties with Israel but said Riyadh now saw no road to diplomatic relations without a Palestinian peace deal.



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