Saudi FM: Trump can broker Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, and we’ll help
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Saudi FM: Trump can broker Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, and we’ll help

Speaking on behalf of Saudi monarch, Adel al-Jubeir hails US president's 'vision' and 'decisiveness'; says kingdom prepared to work with US toward accord

Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir (R) and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson hold a press conference following a bilateral meeting in Riyadh on May 20, 2017. (AFP/Fayez Nureldine)
Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir (R) and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson hold a press conference following a bilateral meeting in Riyadh on May 20, 2017. (AFP/Fayez Nureldine)

Saudi Arabia is confident in US President Donald Trump’s abilities to conclude a peace agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians and Riyadh is prepared to help, Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said on Saturday evening, during a press conference with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Jubeir spoke of the “kingdom’s optimism that President Trump, with a new approach and determination, can bring a conclusion to this long conflict. He certainly has the vision, and we believe he has the strength and the decisiveness. And the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia stands prepared to work with the United States in order to bring about peace between Israelis and Palestinians and Israelis and Arabs.”

The Saudi FM said he was speaking on behalf of the king following an earlier meeting between the US President and the Saudi monarch.

Jubeir said Saudi Arabia stresses the “importance of working toward peace between Israelis and Palestinians.”

The US president’s visit in Saudi Arabia on Saturday presented a “turning point in relationship between the United States and the Islamic world,” said Jubeir, hailing a number of military and commercial agreements that were signed earlier in the day, including a $100 billion arms deal that will take effect immediately and some private sector agreements.

The military package includes tanks, combat ships, missile defense systems, radar and communications, and cybersecurity technology.

Trump earlier called the first day of his maiden international trip “tremendous.” He said the deals signed with Riyadh would lead to “tremendous investments” in the United States.

He said the deals will also create “jobs, jobs, jobs.”

US President Donald Trump, left, and Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud take part in a signing ceremony at the Saudi Royal Court in Riyadh on May 20, 2017. ( AFP / MANDEL NGAN)
US President Donald Trump, left, and Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud take part in a signing ceremony at the Saudi Royal Court in Riyadh on May 20, 2017. ( AFP / MANDEL NGAN)

Trump, Tillerson and senior White House aides arrived in Saudi Arabia earlier Saturday on the first leg of a regional trip that will see the president make his way to Israel and the West Bank next and Europe after that.

Trump has repeatedly indicated that he would like to broker a peace deal and in an interview Thursday with the Israel Hayom newspaper said he “honestly, truly” thinks he can do so.

The president is reportedly working on a bid to restart peace talks between the two sides.

In 2002, Saudi Arabia proposed a deal that would offer Israel normalized relations with the Arab world in exchange for a withdrawal from the lands Israel captured in the 1967. The Arab Peace Initiative was not embraced by Israel, whose governments expressed a number of reservations.

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