Saudi's foreign minister: No normal Israel ties without path to Palestinian state

Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud says stability will come only through resolving the Palestinian issue

By Reuters

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Saudi Arabia Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud. — AFP file
Saudi Arabia Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud. — AFP file

Published: Sun 21 Jan 2024, 8:11 PM

Last updated: Sun 21 Jan 2024, 8:56 PM

There can be no normalisation of Saudi Arabia's ties with Israel without resolving the Palestinian issue, Saudi foreign minister told CNN in an interview that aired on Sunday.

Asked if there could be no normal ties without a path to a credible and irreversible Palestinian state, Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud said: "That's the only way we're going to get the benefit. So, yes, because we need stability and only stability will come through resolving the Palestinian issue."

Prince Faisal said some form of credible, irreversible Palestinian state is necessary. "We need to focus on a solution for the Palestinian issue. We are very focused on de-escalation in Gaza," he added.

The foreign minister's remarks were part of an interview originally taped on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum held last week in Davos, Switzerland, and aired Sunday on CNN.

De-escalation of the conflict in Gaza and halting civilian deaths is a key focus of Saudi Arabia, the minister said.

"What we are seeing is the Israelis are crushing Gaza, the civilian population of Gaza," he said. "This is completely unnecessary, completely unacceptable and has to stop."

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Last week, Israeli President Isaac Herzog said normalising ties between Israel and Saudi Arabia is a key element of ending the war with Hamas and a gamechanger for the entire Middle East.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in the Swiss town of Davos, Herzog said: “It’s still delicate, it’s fragile, and it will take a long time, but I think that it is actually an opportunity to move forward in the world and the region towards a better future.”

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