Zerohedge reports that Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) admitted in a wide-ranging interview in The Atlantic that Saudi nationals have funded terrorist groups and that Israelis are entitled to live peacefully on their own land.
The above statement is perceived as an open indicator that the relationship between Riyadh and Tel Aviv is strengthening.
Bin Salman’s comments come days after a U.S. judge rejected Saudi Arabia’s request to dismiss lawsuits accusing it of involvement in the 9/11 attacks.
MbS told The Atlantic, when asked if Jewish people have a right to a nation-state in at least part of their ancestral homeland…
“I believe the Palestinians and the Israelis have the right to have their own land. But we have to have a peace agreement to assure the stability for everyone and to have normal relations… We have religious concerns about the fate of the holy mosque in Jerusalem and about the rights of the Palestinian people. This is what we have. We don’t have any objection against any other people. This is what we have. We don’t have any objection against any other people”
Saudi Arabia does not recognize Israel, maintaining that normalizing relations with Israel is contingent on its withdrawal from Arab lands captured in the 1967 Middle East War.
This is territory Palestinians claim to be theirs for the establishment of a future state. MbS further added…
“There are a lot of interests we share with Israel and if there is peace.”
“There would be a lot of interest between Israel and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries and countries like Egypt and Jordan.”
Zerohedge notes that the first two stops Donald Trump made as President were Saudi Arabia and Israel, where he met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu and Saudi Arabia’s King Salman to discuss a coalition to fight terrorism – which, aside from the US and Israel, includes Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the UAE, Bahrain, Oman and Jordan – assembled to fight the Islamic State and curtail Iran’s regional ambitions.
Last November, the 32-year-old bin Salman announced plans to “wipe terrorists from the face of the earth,” by forming a coalition of 40 Muslim countries to defeat ISIS.
Speaking at a summit of defence ministers from across 41 majority-Muslim countries he spoke of a need for a “pan-Islamic united front” against terrorism.
He said: “In past years, terrorism has been functioning in all of our countries… with no coordination among national authorities.
“That ends today, with this alliance.”
The first official meeting of the new Muslim alliance was held a week later – just two days after an attack at a Mosque in Egypt killed over 300 people, including 30 children – in what was called the country’s worst terrorism incident.
Meanwhile, bin Salman traveled to Washington D.C. in March, where he began what’s been described as a cross-country road show to lure American firms and investment to Saudi Arabia – a crucial component of his “Vision 2030” plan to wean the ultraconservative kingdom’s economy off its reliance on oil.
Since being appointed heir to the thrown, MbS, 32, has embarked on what fawning US media have described as an “ambitious” reform agenda. He has earned-widespread praise for lifting restrictions on women driving while loosening rules around male-female interactions and also reining in the country’s religious police.
In an effort to wean the Kingdom off of its dependence on oil, MbS launched his Vision 2030 initiative – a plan that relies on foreign investment.
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