Abbas discusses US peace efforts, reconciliation with Saudi crown prince

Abbas’s meeting with the Saudi prince came a day after he met with Saudi King Salman.

November 8, 2017 20:16
1 minute read.
Abbas Salman

Mahmoud Abbas with Saudi King Salman.. (photo credit: SAUDI PRESS AGENCY/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas spoke with Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman on Wednesday about American peace efforts and reconciliation, the official PA news website Wafa reported.

The visiting Abbas’s meeting with the prince came a day after he met with Saudi King Salman.

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“[The PA president] informed the Saudi crown prince of the Palestinian issue’s latest developments and American efforts to advance the peace process, and described for him developments related to Palestinian reconciliation,” the Wafa report said.

Since US President Donald Trump assumed office in January, American officials have met with Israeli, Palestinian and Arab leaders on dozens of occasions in an attempt to revive peace talks.

In mid-October, Egypt brokered a deal between Abbas’s Fatah party and Hamas to advance reconciliation efforts and restore the PA’s governing authority in the Gaza Strip. Hamas has controlled Gaza since 2007 when it ousted the Fatah-dominated PA from the territory.

During their meeting, Abbas and Muhammad bin Salman discussed bilateral relations and “ways to develop them,” the Wafa report added.

Saudi Arabia has been a key backer of the PA since its establishment in the early 1990s.

Abbas also affirmed the Palestinian leadership and people’s support for Saudi Arabia “in the face of attacks” against it, the Wafa report stated.

A ballistic missile was fired from Yemen at the Saudi capital Riyadh on Saturday, but was intercepted by the Saudi military.

The Houthi-controlled Defense Ministry in Yemen, which is closely allied with Iran, took responsibility for launching the missile.

In addition to meeting Muhammad bin Salman, Abbas also spoke to former Lebanese prime minister Saad Hariri on the telephone on Wednesday, Wafa reported.

Hariri resigned from his role as prime minister on Saturday, saying there was an assassination plot against him and accusing Iran and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah of sowing strife in the Arab world.

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