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No diplomatic ties with Israel without independent Palestinian state: Saudi Arabia

February 7, 2024 at 8:38 am

Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia, Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud in Manama, Bahrain on December 09, 2021. [Bahraini Foreign Ministry – Anadolu Agency]

Saudi Arabia today said that it will not establish diplomatic ties with Israel without the creation of an independent Palestinian state.

“There will be no diplomatic relations with Israel unless an independent Palestinian state is recognised on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, and that the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip stops,” a Saudi Foreign Ministry statement said.

The ministry also said that normalisation was dependent on the withdrawal of all Israeli forces from Gaza.

The statement came after US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said the US administration has received “positive feedback” that Saudi Arabia and Israel are willing to continue to have normalisation discussions.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken earlier said that the normalisation between Saudi Arabia and Israel would produce “immense benefits that would come for everyone concerned with Israel’s further integration into the region.”

The ministry also called on the UN Security Council permanent members to “expedite the recognition of the Palestinian state … so that the Palestinian people can obtain their legitimate rights and so that a comprehensive and just peace is achieved for all.”

Israel has launched a deadly offensive on Gaza since 7 October, killing at least 27,585 Palestinians and injuring 66,978 others.

The Israeli offensive has left 85 per cent of Gaza’s population internally displaced amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while 60 per cent of the enclave’s infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

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