Saudi Arabia: ‘Israel doesn’t get to decide’ on Palestinian statehood

Riyadh expresses ‘extreme concern’ over Israeli opposition to Palestinian statehood.

By World Israel News Staff

A senior Saudi official warned Sunday Israeli opposition to Palestinian statehood would harm rather than help the country’s security, expressing “extreme concern” over Jerusalem’s pronouncements rejecting the two-state solution.

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan spoke with reporters in Brussels Sunday night, shortly after the Norwegian foreign minister met with Palestinian Authority Premier Mohammad Mustafa in the Belgian capital to hand over diplomatic papers affirming his country’s recognition of a Palestinian state.

Norway is one of three European countries – along with Ireland and Spain – which announced last week it would unilaterally recognize Palestinian statehood without a final status agreement between Ramallah and Jerusalem.

The Saudi foreign minister lauded the three European states for their recognition of Palestinian statehood, while claiming the establishment of such a state would serve both Palestinian and Israeli interests.

The unilateral recognition, Prince Faisal said, would “reinvigorate the two-state solution independent of Israel’s position because Israel doesn’t get to decide whether or not the Palestinians have a right to self-determination.”

He added that the diplomatic shift “is not just symbolic,” saying it restored “viability of the two-state solution.”

“I firmly believe that a two-state solution with the establishment of a credible Palestinian state serves … the interest of the Palestinians and delivers [on] their right to self-determination,” Prince Faisal said.

“It is also in the interest of Israel and delivers the security that Israel needs and deserves.”

He chided Israel for rejecting the latest bid by the Palestinian Authority for statehood, calling it a “matter of extreme concern.”

“The fact that the current government in Israel doesn’t realize that, of course, is a matter of extreme concern.”