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  • Saudi Arabia has been one of the chief supporters of the Trump's proposal for Israel and Palestine.

    Saudi Arabia has been one of the chief supporters of the Trump's proposal for Israel and Palestine. | Photo: Reuters

Published 10 February 2020
Opinion

The encounter would follow U.S. President Donald Trump’s unveiling of his “peace” plan for Israel and Palestine.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (MBS) could soon meet Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Cairo, Egypt, according to the Jewish News Syndicate (JNS).

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"Important talks [are] underway between Washington, Jerusalem, Cairo and Riyadh to convene a summit in Cairo, possibly before Israel's March 2 election, that would serve as a venue for a meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman," the JNS quoted senior Arab diplomatic sources as saying.

Apart from Egypt, the host of the event, the meeting would "be attended by the United States, Israel, Saudi Arabia and also the leaders of the United Arab Emirates, Sudan, Bahrain, and Oman," the sources said.

Jordan's ruler Abdullah II, however, declined an invitation to attend the summit. The king wanted to include the Palestinian Authority (PA) leader Mahmoud Abbas.

A top Palestinian official confirmed the report and said the PA is likely to reject any invitation, since "Abbas and the leadership in Ramallah will continue to adhere to their boycott of Washington and freezing diplomatic ties with Israel."

The Palestinian official said the U.S. suggested to the Palestinians that "this would likely be Abbas' and the Palestinians' last chance to climb down from the tree and partake in the diplomatic developments unfolding in the region."

The summit would follow U.S. President Donald Trump's unveiling of his "peace" plan for Israel and Palestine. Saudi Arabia has been one of the chief supporters of the proposal Trump presented in great fanfare alongside Netanyahu in Washington on January 28.

Under the plan known as "the deal of the century," Israel would be allowed to annex all Jewish settlements in the West Bank, as well as the strategic Jordan Valley. It would have the entire city of Jerusalem (Al Quds in Arabic) as its capital.

The Palestinians are offered limited self-rule in Gaza, small parts of the West Bank, a village in the outskirts of Jerusalem as a capital, and some desertic areas of Israel, in exchange for complying with a long list of conditions. 

All Palestinian groups have rejected the deal.

Israeli authorities have been increasing their efforts to publicize their secret relations with some Arab countries, particularly those of the Persian Gulf.

The Jewish state has diplomatic ties with only two Arab states, Egypt and Jordan. Still, recent reports suggest Tel Aviv has been working behind the scenes to establish formal contacts with other Arab countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain.

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