Riyadh, Feb 7 (EFE).-
Saudi Arabia has reaffirmed that it will not establish diplomatic ties with Israel until an independent Palestinian state is recognized in the territories occupied by Israel in 1967, encompassing the West Bank, Gaza, and East Jerusalem.
A Saudi foreign ministry statement said its position was always “steadfast” on the Palestinian issue, emphasizing the imperative for the Palestinian people to secure their legitimate rights.
Saudi Arabia has conveyed its position to the United States as a Washington-backed Middle East peace plan that seeks normalization of ties between Israel and Gulf nations has been relegated to cold storage after the war between Palestinian militant group Hamas and Israeli forces erupted in October last year.
While the Saudi foreign ministry statement did not explicitly mention the meeting between US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Riyadh on Monday, it alluded to the communication of Saudi Arabia’s position to the US administration.
“The kingdom has communicated its firm opposition to the US administration that there will be no diplomatic relations with Israel unless an independent Palestinian state is recognized on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital and that the Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip stops and all Israeli occupation forces withdraw from the Gaza Strip,” the foreign ministry said.
The Saudi ministry urged the international community, particularly the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, to recognize the Palestinian State based on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
This recognition, the statement emphasized, would enable the Palestinian people to realize their legitimate rights and facilitate comprehensive and just peace in the region.
The remarks by the Saudi government coincide with ongoing efforts by the US, Egypt, and Qatar to negotiate a ceasefire in war-hit Gaza.
The objective is to secure the release of Israeli hostages held by the Islamist group Hamas and increase humanitarian aid to the civilian population of the besieged strip.
Secretary Blinken, on his fifth tour of the Middle East since the Gaza war began four months ago, indicated during his visit to Doha that he would discuss Hamas’ response to the proposed ceasefire framework with the Israeli government.
The rich and ultra-conservative kingdom of Saudi Arabia does not maintain good ties with Hamas, even as Riyadh is one of the main advocates of the Palestinian cause and the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), chaired by Mahmoud Abbas, which it considers the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. EFE