Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki..
(photo credit: REUTERS/MOHAMED ABD EL GHANY)
The Palestinian Authority is pushing back against reports that its being pressured by Saudi Arabia into agreeing to accept terms for peace with Israel.
"Saudi Arabia told President Mahmoud Abbas that it will not normalize relations with Israel before a peace solution is reached for the Palestinian conflict," Foreign Minister Riyad Maliki said on Tuesday, according to the Palestinian news agency WAFA.
He said Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz made that clear to Abbas during their meeting in Riyadh last week.
"Malki told the president of the Swedish parliament and his delegation, who he met at his office in Ramallah, that Saudi Arabia fully supports Palestinian efforts to reach a settlement based on the international resolutions" the report said.
The statements were an apparent response to a slew of media reports, including in the Sunday Times and Israel's Channel 10, claiming that Riyadh and particularly Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman had told Abbas to go along with President Donald Trump's regional peacemaking blueprint.
The clarification by Maliki may also be a response to a widely circulated report
in Hezbollah affiliated newspaper Al-Akhbar, in which a secret document, purportedly penned by the Saudi foreign minister, presented a plan for bringing about a regional peace agreement.