Saudi diplomat avoids Israel, pushes Palestinian state in UN speech

Saudi Foreign Minister stresses independent Palestinian state with capital in Jerusalem as priority for his government, slams Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria.

By World Israel News Staff

A senior Saudi diplomat speaking at the United Nations did not acknowledge the ongoing negotiations regarding a potential normalization agreement between the Gulf Kingdom and Israel, and emphasized instead the creation of an independent Palestinian state as one of his country’s biggest priorities.

“Security in the Middle East region requires the acceleration of… a just, comprehensive solution to the Palestinian issue,” said Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan, addressing the General Assembly in New York on Saturday.

“The solution must be based on resolutions in the international arena and must bring about a peace that allows [the] Palestinian people to have an independent state based on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital,” he continued.

In what appeared to be a reference to the creation and expansion of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, bin Farhan added that Saudi Arabia “rejects and condemns all the unilateral steps that constitute a flagrant violation of international law and which contribute to the collapse of regional and international peace efforts and are hindering the path of diplomatic solutions.”

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The diplomat did not mention Palestinian terrorism, widespread corruption within the Palestinian Authority, or PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ vehemently antisemitic remarks regarding the Holocaust.

The speech came a day after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the UN that Israel and Saudi Arabia are on the brink of a historic peace agreement.

Netanyahu said that the deal would create a ripple effect and that more Arab countries will normalize relations with Israel after Saudi Arabia.

Speaking to Fox News last week, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who serves as the country’s de facto leader, said that Riyadh and Jerusalem are moving closer to an agreement each day.

However, bin Salman repeatedly stressed that such an agreement could only happen if Israel agreed to sweeping concessions for the Palestinians, including the creation of an independent Palestinian state.