Map of Israel showing neighboring countries
Saudi crown prince: Israelis have right to their own land
Heir to Saudi Arabia’s throne says his country shares a lot of common interests with Israel.
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has declared that Israel has the right to its own land alongside Palestinians.
In an interview with the US-based The Atlantic magazine, the 32 year old heir to the Saudi throne declared: “I believe that each people, anywhere, has a right to live in their peaceful nation.”
The crown prince said that “there are a lot of interests” his country shares with Israel.
“Israel is a big economy compared to their size and it’s a growing economy, and of course 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.”
Bin Salman also said that while his country has “religious concerns” about the holy mosque in Jerusalem and the rights of Palestinians, it has no objection “against any other people”.
“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.”
Bin Salman also said Saudi Arabia “does not have a problem” with Jews, saying that Islam’s Prophet Muhammad “married a Jewish woman”.
Saudi Arabia and Israel have no formal diplomatic relationship.
Riyadh has long maintained that a peace agreement with Israel should be based on the 1967 demarcation line established before Palestinian lands were usurped during the Six-Day War.
Recent developments in Riyadh, however, have indicated that ties between the two countries are warming up.
In March, Saudi Arabia granted India’s national carrier permission to use its airspace to operate a direct flight between New Delhi and Tel Aviv.
The move ends a decades-long ban by Saudi Arabia on the use of its airspace for flights to Israel.
Israel’s Communications Minister Ayoub Kara also invited Saudi Arabia’s Grand Mufti, Abdul Aziz Al Sheikh, to visit Israel.
While visiting the United States, bin Salman also met several Jewish groups and pro-Israel lobbies.
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