Palestinian state is required for regional stability: Saudi FM

Speaking to CNN on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud said that the only way to stability in West Asia is to form a Palestinian state.  

When asked by Fareed Zakaria about the possibility of Saudi forces entering Gaza to ensure stabilization, Saud said: “I think what we need to focus on is a solution for the Palestinian issue, not just Gaza. What we feel is necessary is some form of credible, irreversible path to a Palestinian state that will give legitimacy to any Arab country and us as a collective group, … including, of course, Gaza and the governance of Gaza.” 

The Saudi foreign minister went on to say that foreign Arab troops entering the Gaza Strip under the guise of stability are hypothetical notions and that Palestinian governance can stabilize the Gaza Strip. 

Talks of reconstruction of Gaza are futile, Saud said, because “if we’re just resetting to the status quo before [7 October] in a way that sets us up for another round of this as we have seen in the past,” there is no point in having such a conversation.  

The CNN reporter also asked the foreign minister about Saudi Arabia’s normalization plan with Israel. The foreign minister reiterated that a Palestinian state must be formed to continue these talks.  

“For the region to see true peace, true stability, and to see real integration that delivers economic and social benefits for all of us, including Israel, [the only way] to achieve peace is through a credible, irreversible process to a Palestinian state,” Saud said. 

The Saudi foreign minister was also asked about his country’s reaction to seeing Hamas “crushed by the Israeli army” and if the Saudi kingdom supported these actions.  

“… What we are seeing is that the Israelis are crushing Gaza. They are crushing the civilian population of Gaza. This is completely unnecessary, … completely unacceptable … We have to find a way to stop the killing of civilians [and] to find a way to allow humanitarian access,” the Saudi Foreign Minister replied.  

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has consistently rejected both Saudi and US requests for establishing a Palestinian state, saying that the offensive in Gaza will continue “until complete victory,” the “eradication” of Hamas, and the release of all Israeli captives. He has said these goals may take “many more months.” 

Reports from early January claimed Israel was holding secret talks with the White House to hasten normalization with Saudi Arabia, a proposition considered “very attractive” to the US as it can prevent the Gaza war from spreading further in the region, as well as place US President Joe Biden in a positive light before general elections in November.

Source: The Cradle

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