FILE PHOTO Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas attends a news conference in the West Bank town of Bethlehem on Jan 18, 2017 Reuters
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas sent a congratulation letter to Saudi King Salman marking the kingdom's national day. Abbas took the occasion to laud Riyadh's support of the Palestinian cause, Al-Arabiya reported on Wednesday.
The Saudi king had told US President Donald Trump in September that Saudi Arabia wants to see a fair and permanent solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict based on the Arab Peace Initiative.
A Saudi cabinet statement on 15 September stressed that the "kingdom stands by the Palestinian people and supports all efforts aimed at reaching a just and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian issue that enables the Palestinian people to establish their independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, in accordance with international legitimacy decisions and the Arab Peace Initiative.”
Saudi Arabia presented the Arab Peace Initiative during the Arab summit in Beirut in 2002.
The plan stipulates “full Israeli withdrawal from all the territories occupied since 1967, including the Syrian Golan Heights, to the lines of 4 June 1967, as well as the remaining occupied Lebanese territories in the south of Lebanon” and the “establishment of a Sovereign Independent Palestinian State on the Palestinian territories occupied since 4 June 1967 in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, with East Jerusalem as its capital.”
In return, the Arabs would “enter into a peace agreement with Israel, and provide security for all the states of the region” and “establish normal relations with Israel in the context of this comprehensive peace.”
The UAE and Bahrain recently signed US-sponsored normalisation agreements with Israel in Washington DC in a move opposed by the Palestinians.
The Abraham Accords between the UAE and Israel dictate the “establishment of peace and diplomatic relations... mutual understanding, cooperation and coordination between them in the spheres of peace and stability” and cooperation on multiple fronts," including healthcare, science, technology and peaceful uses of outer space, tourism, culture and sport, energy, environment, education, maritime agreements, telecommunications, agriculture, food security, water and legal cooperation.
Trump described the accords as “the foundation for a comprehensive peace across the entire region." He told the media Israel will also normalise relations with “seven or eight or nine” other states “at the right time.”