Saudi King puts damper on Israel-Saudi peace deal in call with Trump

Salman comments poured cold water over the possibility that his country would make peace with Israel any time soon. 

By David Isaac, World Israel News

Saudi Arabia wouldn’t establish diplomatic ties with Israel until the Jewish State reached an agreement with the Palestinians, Saudi King Salman told President Donald Trump in a phone call on Sunday.

Salman affirmed “the Kingdom’s keenness to reach a lasting and just solution to the Palestinian cause to bring peace, which is the main starting point for the Kingdom’s efforts and the Arab Peace Initiative,” the official Saudi Press Agency said.

He said Saudi Arabia supports a “fair” solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

The initiative to which Salman referred, a 2002 Saudi plan, appears to be a nonstarter. It calls for the Jewish State’s withdrawal from all territories captured in the Six Day War. However, some 400,000 Jews now live in Judea and Samaria alone.

The Golan, which the initiative insists to be returned to Syria, was annexed by Israel in 1981, a move recognized by the Trump administration in  2019. The initiative also calls for the creation of a Palestinian state and a “just solution to the Palestinian refugee problem.” Solving the refugee problem is viewed by many Israelis as code words for flooding Israel with Arabs.

Salman words thus pour cold water over the possibility that his country would make peace with Israel any time soon.

Trump spoke of the importance of the agreement between the United Arab Emirates and Israel announced last month. Trump also thanked Salman for allowing flights to and from Israel in the kingdom’s airspace. The permission will cut the flight time between the two countries by half to 3 1/2 hours.

The Trump administration has been pushing other countries to join the UAE in normalizing ties with Israel. “President Trump highlighted the significance of the Abraham Accords and discussed ways to enhance regional security and prosperity,” the White House said in a statement.

Senior Trump Advisor Jared Kushner visited Saudi Arabia and Bahrain last week. With Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, he “discussed the peace process and its horizons, as well as the need to resume negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis to reach just and lasting peace.”

Kushner said all 22 Arab states normalizing relations with Israel was “logical” and the next agreement could happen “within months.”