Saudi Arabia will only normalise relations with Israel if the Palestine-Israel peace deal comes true. The Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir said that the kingdom does not want to establish diplomatic relations with Israel under the current inconsistent circumstances.
"We want a two-state solution based on the Arab Peace Initiative and the relevant United Nations resolutions where we have a Palestinian state and living side by side in peace and security. That remains our position," Al-Jubeir told Arab News in an exclusive interview. The Arab League (AL) had earlier taken a stance to restore a two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
During the last AL meeting, the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan backed the two-state solution favouring AL's resolution and harmonised their support to the Palestinian cause though they have normalised ties with Israel. There was a widespread expectation that the kingdom will follow its neighbouring countries' steps in normalising ties with Israel. However, Saudi Arabia has repeatedly denied the claims as reinstating peace for the Palestinians is stressed as a prerequisite to normalisation.
"Those are sovereign decisions that are really up to those countries. What we have said is if that leads to a change in Israel's position with regards to annexation of Palestinian territory, or if it leads to a softening of Israel's position with regards to negotiations, then there may be some benefit in it," added Al-Jubeir referring to the states that have okayed diplomatic ties with Israel.
Though the kingdom will not sign a normalisation agreement, it will continue peace talks with Israel. The Minister also reminded that this was accurately stated in the late King Fahd's eight-point plan that said to keep the Arab world away from 'no to negotiations, no to recognition, and no to peace,' as put forth at the Arab Summit in Fez in the early '80s.
"This was adopted by the Arab world and basically called for a two-state solution. Then later at the (Arab League) summit in Beirut in 2002, we put forth the Arab Peace Initiative that called for what I mentioned: Two states, recognition, normalisation of relationship, and everything that it entails in terms of good neighbourly relations," the Minister remarked.
Last December, Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan had stated that the kingdom would establish full diplomatic relations with Israel, given that the Palestinian state regains its true peace in the region.