Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abudlaziz Al Saud reiterated his royal position in highlighting the problems in Palestine and the right of the Palestinian people to become an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital. Reported on Tuesday (3/4/2018), in a phone call with US President Donald Trump, King Salman stressed the need to advance the peace process in the Middle East. It follows a Palestinian protest at the Gaza border last week, and Israeli forces have killed 17 people.
Saudi Arabia and Israel do not have formal diplomatic relations, but behind the scenes, their relationship has improved in recent years. Both see Iran as a threat. Saudi Crown Prince Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is in the US, made comments related to Israel. He indicated an important change in the position of the kingdom responding to the Israeli and Palestinian conflict. To The Atlantic magazine, as reported, he said, Israel also has the right to own a homeland. When asked by The Atlantic Chief Editor Jeffrey Goldberg, whether Jews have the right to own a portion of their ancestral land, Prince Mohammed gave a surprising answer. “I believe everyone, everywhere, has the right to live in their country in peace,” he said.
“I believe the Palestinians and Israelis have the right to own their land,” he added. “But we must have a peace treaty to ensure stability for everyone and have a normal relationship,” he said. Saudi relations with Israel began to melt when a Saudi general visited Jerusalem in 2016 and met with Israeli lawmakers. Last month, Saudi also allowed Air India to fly to Tel Aviv across the airspace.