- Saudi’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman reportedly said in a closed-door meeting last month that Palestinians should accept peace negotiations or “shut up and stop complaining.”
- The Crown Prince offered harsh criticism of Palestine to leaders of several Jewish organisations and said Saudi Arabia has more “urgent and important” issues to deal with.
- Saudi Arabia has historically played a central role in Middle East peace talks, but recent comments point to the Kingdom growing tired of mediating between Palestine and Israel.
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman reportedly said in a closed-door meeting that Palestinians should accept peace negotiations or “shut up and stop complaining.”
According to Barak Ravid, a journalist for Israel’s Channel 10 News, the crown prince offered harsh criticism of Palestine when speaking with leaders of several Jewish organisations while in New York last month.
“In the last several decades the Palestinian leadership has missed one opportunity after the other and rejected all the peace proposals it was given,” the crown prince said according to a wire sent by the Israeli consulate in New York to Israel’s foreign ministry in Jerusalem which summarized the meeting, as well as information from several US and Israeli diplomats with knowledge of the meeting.
“It is about time the Palestinians take the proposals and agree to come to the negotiations table or shut up and stop complaining.”
Saudi’s young prince – who is known to have different views on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process than his father King Salman, having openly supported Israel’s right to exist in the past – also reportedly made clear that the Palestinian issue was not a priority for the Kingdom.
The crown prince told the crowd that Saudi Arabia has “has much more urgent and important issues to deal with,” including curbing Iranian influence in the region, though he was clear that in order to normalize relations between Israel and the Arab world, a formal peace agreement must be advanced.
Saudi Arabia has historically played a central role in Middle East peace talks, and spearheaded a proposal called The Arab Peace Initiative, which called for an end to the Arab-Israeli conflict, in 2002.
The crown prince has recently stepped up his role in advancing talks, and has met with presidential adviser Jared Kushner and other US officials to discuss the Arab role in bringing about Middle East peace.
But recent comments point to the Kingdom growing tired of mediating between Palestine and Israel, as clashes between the two sides continue, casting doubt on current peace efforts.
The crown prince has also been focused on shifting the Saudi foreign policy strategy, and may have found an unlikely ally in neighbour Israel.
Saudi Arabia and Israel currently do not share diplomatic ties but recent moves point to a major thawing in their relationship.
Saudi Arabia and Israel have also bonded over their shared goals in the Middle East, including defeating what they consider to be Iran’s regional power grab.
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