Saudi Arabia: "no diplomatic relations" with Israel without independent Palestinian state

Saudi Arabia stated on Wednesday that diplomatic relations with Israel hinge on recognizing an independent Palestinian state along the 1967 borders, including East Jerusalem.

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This stance also demands an end to Israeli "aggression" on the Gaza Strip. The Saudi Arabian Foreign Ministry underscored this position through its official channels, emphasizing its unwavering support for the Palestinian cause and their legitimate rights.

Following remarks by White House National Security spokesperson John Kirby indicating positive feedback on ongoing normalization discussions between Saudi Arabia and Israel, the Kingdom reaffirmed its resolute stance on the Palestinian issue to Washington. This action underscores Saudi Arabia's commitment to advocating for Palestinian rights and autonomy in the face of international diplomacy.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs reiterated to the US administration that forging diplomatic ties with Israel is contingent upon recognizing an independent Palestinian state on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Additionally, it stipulated that Israeli aggression against Gaza had to stop and that Israeli occupation forces had to completely withdraw from the area. Saudi Arabia further urged UN Security Council permanent members yet to recognize the Palestinian state to expedite this recognition process. The aim is to ensure Palestinians obtain their rightful rights and facilitate the realization of a comprehensive and equitable peace for all parties involved.

This announcement comes amidst a freeze in US-backed initiatives to normalize relations with Israel. Sources familiar with Riyadh's deliberations disclosed that Saudi Arabia halted these efforts in October 2023 amid escalating hostilities between Palestinian militant group Hamas and Israeli military forces. The Kingdom's steadfast position underscores its commitment to supporting Palestinian aspirations for self-determination and sovereignty while advocating for a just and lasting peace in the region.

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