Abbas confidante: Riyadh backs PA president on reconciliation, peace efforts

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November 13, 2017 17:23

Majdalani said that the Saudi king and crown prince offered their support for the Palestinian position on the peace process.

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Abbas confidante: Riyadh backs PA president on reconciliation, peace efforts

Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud walks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during a reception ceremony in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia November 7, 2017. (photo credit:SAUDI PRESS AGENCY/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)

Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud and his son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al-Saud, affirmed their support for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s position that the West Bank and Gaza Strip be ruled by “one authority, one law and one weapon,” Abbas confidante Ahmad Majdalani said on Monday.

Abbas met the Saudi king and crown prince last week in Riyadh following a short visit to Egypt, where he held talks with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

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“Saudi Arabia affirmed its support for Palestinian reconciliation and the president’s position that there should be one authority, one law and one weapon,” Majdalani told The Jerusalem Post.

In mid-October, Egypt brokered a deal between Abbas’s Fatah and Hamas to restore the PA’s governing authority in Gaza. Hamas has ruled Gaza since ousting the Fatah-dominated PA in 2007.

Since Fatah and Hamas signed the agreement, Abbas has said he would not accept any scenario other than the PA taking full control of Gaza including all weapons there.

Hamas, meanwhile, has rejected Abbas’s position, asserting it won’t allow anyone to disarm its armed wing, the Izzadin Kassam Brigades.

Majdalani also denied a Channel 10 report that said the Saudi leadership presented Abbas with an ultimatum to either accept a future American peace plan or resign.

“The truth is, that report is nonsense,” he said.

In addition, Majdalani said that the Saudi king and crown prince offered their support for the Palestinian position on the peace process.

“They expressed their support for the Palestinian position that any peace effort should be based on the Arab Peace Initiative,” Majdalani said.

The initiative calls on Israel to accept the establishment of a Palestinian state along 1967 borders and a “just solution to the Palestinian refugee problem” based on UN Security Council resolution 194, in exchange for the Arab world establishing normal relations with the Jewish state.

Majdalani also said that Saudi Arabia’s top leaders said their country is prepared to increase its economic assistance to the PA.

Palestinian officials have said that if the PA takes back responsibility for Gaza, the Ramallah-based authority would need to raise millions of dollars to rebuild the area and finance its governing institutions.

“Saudi Arabia affirmed its readiness to increase its support for the PA’s material needs for Gaza,” Majdalani stated.


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