Current Affairs Middle East

Saudi Prince Demands Palestinian State: Upset with UAE-Israel Deal

Written by Shoaib

The former chief of intelligence of Saudi Arabia and son of former King Faisal, Prince Turki al-Faisal, has once again reiterated Saudi Arabia’s demands before any peace deal with Israel: The Arab Peace Initiative. The Arab Peace Initiative put forward by Saudi Arabia in 2002, was agreed by the Palestinians and Muslim nations.

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Prince Turki’s statement was followed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s speech to the UN General Assembly on Saturday. President Abbas also reiterated that the Palestinians are committed to the Saudi backed Arab Peace Initiative.

Prince Turki was asked on CNBC what the pre-requisites for Saudi Arabia are in order to recognise Israel, to which the senior royal replied “The Kingdom is still committed to the Arab Peace Initiative and the emergence of a Palestinian state with it’s capital in Jerusalem”

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During Wednesday’s UN General Assembly speech, King Salman also spoke of Saudi Arabia’s stance on a peace deal with Israel. He said that the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002 would “ensure that the fraternal Palestinian people obtain their legitimate rights at the forefront of which is establishing their independent state with East Jerusalem as it’s capital”

“I must say that President Trump has not been such an honest broker”

Prince Turki on Donald Trump’s peace efforts

When Prince Turki was pushed further on whether there was anything Israel could do to bring about peace with Saudi Arabia, the prince laughed and said “yes indeed, agree to the Arab Peace Initiative and recognise a Palestinian State!”

The Prince expressed dismay that in-fighting inside the Palestinian leadership meant the path towards a Palestinian state was being hindered. “Hamas and Fatah are at loggerheads, although now there seems to be some movement to reconciliation between them. I hope they succeed but they haven’t in the past”

UAE-Bahrain Normalisation of Relations with Israel

Prince Turki expressed his disappointment at the UAE lead deal’s inability to achieve a solution for the Palestinians. He said that his father, the former King Faisal of Saudi Arabia, would have been disappointed with the deal.

Asked what he thinks King Faisal, his father, would have made of the deal he said “I think the late king would have been disappointed”.

While Saudi Arabia has not yet officially commented on the UAE-Bahrain deal with Israel, Prince Turki’s comments give some idea of sentiment from the Saudi Arabian government towards the deal. Saudi Arabia has not followed the UAE and Bahrain in making any deals with Israel and has maintained a firm position on any future peace deals.

Prince Turki pointed out, however, that the UAE-Bahrain deal with Israel should not be considered as a stumbling block for Palestinian statehood and sovereignty.

Prince Turki said his father, King Faisal, placed an oil embargo on Israel’s allies including the US in 1973 to force the USA to be an honest broker towards the Palestinians.

The UAE and Bahrain agreed to normalisation of diplomatic relations with Israel when assurances were given from the USA and Israel that annexation of Palestinian land would be paused.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had said that on the 1st July that Israel would annex large areas of Palestinian territory, a move he said no one in the world could stop them from. The UAE then offered Israel a deal in return for guarantees of not annexing Palestinian land. When Netanyahu turned the bulldozers back and it became clear Israel had heeded the UAE’s call by not be annexing Palestinian land, the UAE agreed a deal with Israel known as the ‘Abraham Accord’.

UAE Foreign Minister Gargash said the UAE knew “the Palestinians wouldn’t like” its recent deal formally recognising Israel, but he predicted that “in the longer term we will be able to help the Palestinians more and more” as the UAE “creates leverage” with Israel.

Donald Trump not an honest broker. Europe and US must do more.

Prince Turki was asked if the UAE-Bahrain deal with Israel would mean all of the gulf countries normalising ties with Israel to which he commented “I can’t speak for the other gulf states but I told you where the Kingdom (of Saudi Arabia) stands and I am of the view that that position is not going to change”

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King Faisal placed an oil embargo on the US and other countries that aided Israel during what Israel calls the Yom Kippur war of 1973. The late King is the father of Prince Turki who commented “His (King Faisal’s) decision to put oil sanctions on the United States after the Americans decided to give more aid to Israel during the Ramadan War (in 1973 was) for the reason to force the United States to be an honest broker between Israel (and) the Arab world”

Prince Turki, known as one of the most astute and highly educated Saudi Princes, has served in many major roles from head of the Saudi intelligence agency to Ambassador to the UK and then the USA.

Regarding Donald Trump’s efforts for peace Prince Turki said “I must say that President Trump has not been such an honest broker”

The role of the US and Europe in Palestinian rights for statehood came up in Prince Turki’s interview several times as the Prince pointed out that while many European parliaments had agreed to recognise Palestine as a State, their governments have not. He also commented that the US is holding back on recognition of a Palestinian state.

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About the author

Shoaib

CEO of Hujjaj.co | Director of the Organisation for the Conservation of Islamic Heritage | President of itiba.tv | Editor Muslim World Journal | Pharmacist | You can find me on Instagram and Facebook

shoaib@muslimworldjournal.com

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