Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was invited to Riyadh to discuss plans to form a grand regional alliance including both Israel and Palestine to confront Iran, reported Middle East Eye.
Palestinian officials and western diplomats speaking on condition of anonymity said: “Abbas had been summoned to discuss renewed American efforts to secure a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinian Authority which the Crown Prince sees as a crucial step towards his goal of enabling Saudi Arabia and Israel to work together openly against Iran.”
According to one western diplomat, “Saudi Arabia cannot work openly with Israel in the face of Iran, before solving the Palestinian issue, and having the Palestinians themselves involved directly in such an axis.”
Palestinian officials said that Abbas had been assured by both King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman that “Arab states would not establish formal diplomatic relations with Israel until Palestinian statehood was recognised and a regional peace deal had been agreed”.
“President Abbas raised his concerns of the Israeli intention to implement the Arab Peace Initiative from Z to A, not from A to Z, meaning that Israel is interested in having a relationship with the Arab countries before having a Palestinian statehood,” one said.
He continued: “The King and the Crown Prince assured President Abbas that will not happen. The Saudis are keen to keen to see a regional peace deal that solves the Palestinian cause first.”