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September 8, 2020

Saudi king calls for fair solution to Palestinian issue

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September 8, 2020

CAIRO/RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman told US President Donald Trump in a phone call on Sunday that the kingdom was eager to achieve a fair and permanent solution to the Palestinian issue, which he said was the main starting point of the kingdom’s proposed Arab Peace Initiative, the state news agency reported. The leaders spoke by phone following a historic US brokered accord last month under which the United Arab Emirates agreed to become the third Arab state to normalise ties with Israel after Egypt and Jordan, reported a British wire service.

King Salman told Trump he appreciated US efforts to support peace and that Saudi Arabia wanted to see a fair and permanent solution to the Palestinian issue based on the Arab Peace Initiative proposed by the kingdom in 2002.

Under the proposal, Arab nations have offered Israel normalised ties in return for a statehood deal with the Palestinians and full Israeli withdrawal from territory captured in the 1967 Middle East war.

Saudi Arabia does not recognise Israel. However,this month the kingdom said it would allow flights between UAE and Israel, including by Israeli airliners, to use its airspace.

King Salman’s son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and Kushner discussed the need for the Palestinians and the Israelis to resume negotiations and reach a lasting peace after Kushner visited the UAE last month.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman held a phone call on Monday with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss a number of issues, including OPEC and the coronavirus pandemic. King Salman expressed the Kingdom’s keenness to strengthen bilateral relations with Russia, and said he was satisfied with the increase in trade exchange between the two countries, reported international media.

The king also said Russia plays a “constructive role” in the “OPEC+group to achieve stability and balance the oil market.” During the call, both sides reviewed the work of the G20 countries, which the Kingdom will chair this year, and the unified efforts within their meetings to overcome the effects of the coronavirus pandemic and return to normal life.

Putin praised the Kingdom’s efforts during its G20 presidency, expressing his happiness with the development of relations between the two countries and the fruitful cooperation with the Kingdom in the field of energy, referring to the ongoing communication about the new Russian COVID-19 vaccine.