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Saudi will stick to 2002 Arab peace plan – foreign minister

Saudi will stick to 2002 Arab peace plan – foreign minister

The plan proposes normalised relations with Israel only after it withdraws from the Palestinian territories

Saudi foreign minister

Saudi Arabia remains committed to the Arab peace plan signed in 2002 with regards to its relations with Israel, the kingdom’s foreign minister said on Wednesday.

The plan proposes normalised relations between the countries only after Israel withdraws from the Palestinian territories.

“When we sponsored the Arab peace plan in 2002, we fully envisioned that there would eventually be relations between all Arab states, including Saudi Arabia, and Israel if the condition is met,” Prince Faisal bin Farhan said.

“Saudi Arabia remains committed to peace as a strategic option based on the Arab peace plan and relevant international resolutions enabling the Palestinian people to establish their own state with East Jerusalem as its capital,” he said.

He added: “Once that is achieved all things are possible.”

His statement comes after the UAE and Israel announced a historic agreement last week to establish diplomatic relations. As part of the deal, brokered by the US, Israel has suspended plans to annex the Palestinian territories.

Speaking on Wednesday, US President Donald Trump said he expects Saudi Arabia to join the peace deal.

Asked at a White House news conference on Wednesday whether he expected the Saudis to take part in the UAE-Israel accord, Trump answered: “I do”.

“I see a lot of countries coming in fairly quickly,” he said.

“And when you have them all in, ultimately Iran will come in, too. There’ll be peace in the Middle East. That’ll be nice. Iran will be very much neutralised.”

Since the announcement of the agreement, several Israeli and Emirati technology firms have outlined plans to collaborate with one another in the fields of technology and healthcare, including jointly developing a Covid-19 testing device and cooperating within the field of stem cells research.

Read: Israel asks UAE Crown Prince to visit as peace moves intensify

With inputs from Bloomberg

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