Saudi Arabia: Israel must engage seriously to solve the Palestinian issue

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The Saudi Foreign Minister, Prince Faisal bin Farhan, urged the Israeli government to “engage seriously on resolving the conflict with the Palestinians” noting that this in its interest and the interest of the region.

This came during Prince Faisal’s speech, on Wednesday evening, in a panel discussion titled “The Middle East: Meeting Point or Battleground”, held on the side-lines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, according to the Saudi Al-Ekhbariya channel.

Prince Faisal said, “We still haven’t found a solution to the Palestinian cause and we must focus on the path to resolve this conflict. This will happen through negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis in the spirit of agreement and reaching a two-state solution with a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.”

“This is what we are trying to achieve at the level of the international community, (but) the new Israeli government says it is not enthusiastic about this solution,” he added, “but we believe that they (Israel) will see that this solution is in their best interest and the interest of the region and they must engage seriously to resolve the Palestinian cause,” he added.

The Saudi Minister noted “If we are able to reach a peaceful solution that gives the Palestinians hope for an independent state (…) we can remove a great burden on the Middle East, and this is a priority for us.”

READ: OIC to discuss situation at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa on Tuesday

Since April 2014, negotiations between the Israeli and Palestinian sides have stalled, as a result of Tel Aviv’s refusal to stop settlement activity, release old detainees, and its rejection of the two-state solution.

On the developments in Yemen, Prince Faisal said, “we must continue (efforts) the permanent ceasefire (in Yemen). Things are not clear and there are obstacles in our way, but if we convince the Houthis and the Yemeni government of a (permanent) ceasefire, this will open the door for political progress.”

He stressed that “the war can only be ended through a solution that is agreed upon, and this is what we are working on with the UN envoy (for Yemen, Hans Grundberg).”

On 2 October, a six-month truce ended, and the government and the Houthis are exchanging accusations over who is responsible for the failure to renew it, while the UN is making efforts to stop the war that has been raging since 2014.

Since March 2015, an Arab military coalition, led by Saudi Arabia, has intervened to support the government forces, in the face of the Iranian-backed Houthi group that controls the capital, Sana’a.

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