After Israel-UAE deal, Saudi FM says still committed to Arab Peace Initiative

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal Bin Farhan issues the kingdom’s first official comment on last week’s announcement that Israel and the United Arab Emirates will normalize diplomatic ties.

A tweet from the Saudi foreign ministry says Bin Farhan told his German counterpart Heiko Maas during a meeting in Berlin that “Saudi Arabia affirms its commitment to peace as a strategic option based on the Arab Peace Initiatives.”

The Saudi-backed initiative, proposed in 2002, conditions recognition of Israel on the establishment of a Palestinian state with its capital in East Jerusalem. It also calls for a full Israeli withdrawal from areas captured in the 1967 Six Day War and a “just solution” for Palestinian refugees.

Hours after the US-brokered agreement last week, an Emirati spokeswoman told The Times of Israel that the UAE remains committed to the terms of the Arab Peace Initiative.

As part of the deal with the UAE, Prime Minister Netanyahu agreed to drop plans to annex parts of the West Bank designated for Israel under the Trump administration’s peace plan.

“Saudi Arabia considers Israel’s unilateral policies of an annexation and building settlements as an illegitimate [way forward] and [as] detrimental to the two-states solution,” the Saudi foreign ministry quotes Bin Farhan as saying.

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