Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Salman said Thursday that his country looks at Israel as a “potential ally,” not as an enemy, if the Palestinian cause is to be resolved.
Bin Salman spoke to the Atlantic magazine and was cited by the Saudi state-run SPA news agency, where he said before reaching that moment, some issues must be resolved.
“We look at Israel as a potential ally but before that, it should solve its problems with the Palestinians,” said bin Salman.
He said every country has full freedom to do what it sees good, in reference to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) normalization deal with Israel and added that Saudi Arabia hopes to find a solution to the problem between the Israelis and the Palestinians.
Saudi Arabia has repeatedly reiterated its commitment to Arab parameters for peace with Israel expressed in the 2002 Saudi-proposed Arab Initiative, which calls for normalizing relations with Tel Aviv in return for a withdrawal from territories occupied in 1967.
After Egypt and Jordan signed a US-sponsored deal to normalize relations with Israel in September 2020, the UAE followed.
Three other Arab states — Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan — joined the UAE in the controversial move known as the Abraham Accords.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war and annexed the city in 1980 in a move that has never been recognized by the international community.