Berlin, MINA – Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister said the Riyadh government would not normalize relations with Israel before an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement was reached.
“When we launched the Arab Peace Initiative in 2002, we fully imagined that there would be links between all Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia and Israel. But from our perspective, the conditions are clear: Peace must be achieved between Israel and Palestine, on international parameters. Once this goal is achieved, anything is possible,” the Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan al-Saud said at a press conference in Berlin with his German counterpart, Heiko Maas on Wednesday (August 19).
It was the Kingdom’s first official statement since the deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates was announced on Thursday, the Times of Israel reported.
Since 2002, Saudi Arabia has sponsored the Arab Peace Initiative, which states that normalization with Israel will only occur if Jerusalem and Ramallah can reach a lasting agreement and establish a Palestinian state within 1967 borders.
The United Arab Emirates also signed the Arab Peace Initiative. A pact declared to normalize relations without a Palestinian state would violate that initiative.
Emirat officials said their agreement to normalize relations with Israel is aimed at stopping Israel’s annexation of territories claimed by Palestine.
However, Al-Saud also praised “actions to suspend Israel’s unilateral actions” and said the deal “could be viewed as a positive thing.”
The agreement has been hailed by Egypt, which also has peace deals with Israel, as well as Bahrain and Oman, while the Palestinian Authority has called the agreement a “despicable treaty” and a “stab in the back.”
The Saudi foreign minister also said Israeli settlement activities undermined the chances of peace. (T/R7/RE1)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)