MBS says confronting Iran’s influence in the region more important than Palestine issue
US and its allies in the Middle East, especially Saudi Arabia have resumed exerting pressure on Palestinian Authority led by Mehmoud Abbas to start negotiations with Israel government to settle the outstanding issues.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman has even suggested Palestinian leadership to either accept what Trump is offering or shut their mouth.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, while addressing a joint press conference with Jordanian foreign minister Ayman Safadi, on Monday, called on Palestinians to return to the negotiating table with Israel. Amman was his last stop in his whirlwind Middle East tour, which took him to Saudi Arabia, Israel and Jordan in three days.
According to Jerusalem Post, Pompeo said, “We believe that the Israelis and Palestinians need to have political engagement. We urge the Palestinians to return to the political dialogue.”
Responding to a question about the two state solutions, Pompeo did not chose to clearly support Washington’s earlier position: proposing Israel and Palestinian side by side, instead, he said, “The parties will ultimately make the decision about what the right resolution is. We are open to a ‘two party solution’ as a likely outcome.”
Meanwhile, the legislative body of Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) is discussing the issue of suspending recognition of Israel and several other critical issues, for the first time in nine years on Monday in Ramallah.
In another major development, Israeli media has reported Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, recently saying US based Jewish groups that the Palestinian leadership must accept conditions for peace put forward by the administration of US President Donald Trump or keep their mouth shut.
Al-Jazeera, quoting Channel 10 news citing Israeli diplomatic wire, reported that during a closed-door meeting on March 27th in New York with the Jewish organisations’ leaders, bin Salman harshly criticised Palestinian President Mehmoud Abbas.
He was quoted saying, “In the last several decades the Palestinian leadership has missed one opportunity after the other and rejected all the peace proposals it was given. It is about time the Palestinians take the proposals and agree to come to the negotiations table or shut up and stop complaining.”
According to Axios website by Barak Ravid, Channel 10’s senior diplomatic correspondent, MBS made clear the Palestinian issue was not a top priority for the Saudi government or the Saudi public opinion. He said Saudi Arabia “has much more urgent and important issues to deal with” like confronting Iran’s influence in the region.”
Barak Ravid has further claimed that “regardless of all his criticism of the Palestinian leadership, MBS also made clear that in order for Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states to normalize relations with Israel there will have to be significant progress on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process”.
After Donald Trump’s announcement of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital Palestinian Authority President Mehmoud Abbas had said that US has lost credibility of being a mediator. Palestinians were earlier told by Americans that East Jerusalem should be the capital of proposed separate Palestine state.