SAUDI CROWN Prince Mohammad bin Salman attends the Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh.
(photo credit: HAMAD I MOHAMMED / REUTERS)
Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is reportedly fed up with the Palestinians.
Bin Salman, heir to the desert kingdom's thrown, said in a closed-door meeting that Palestinians should accept peace negotiations or "shut up and stop complaining," according to Channel 10 journalist Barak Ravid. The crown prince reportedly made the remarks when speaking with leaders of several Jewish groups while in New York on March 27.
“In the last several decades the Palestinian leadership has missed one opportunity after the other and rejected all the peace proposals it was given,” bin Salman said according to a wire sent by the Israeli consulate in New York to Israel’s foreign ministry in Jerusalem that summarized the meeting, as well as information from several US and Israeli diplomats with knowledge of the meeting.
“It is about time the Palestinians take the proposals and agree to come to the negotiations table or shut up and stop complaining,” he continued.
Bin Salman's reported remarks are the latest addition to what some have pegged as a budding Israeli-Saudi bromance. The young prince is known to hold different views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict than his father, King Salman, and past Saudi kings, having openly supported Israel's right to exist.
Trump: Saudi Arabia has a “very positive” feeling toward Israel (credit: REUTERS)
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"I believe the Palestinians and the Israelis have the right to have their own land
," bin Salman told The Atlantic
The crown prince also reportedly emphasized in the meeting that the Iranian threat took precedence over the Palestinian issue as far as Saudi Arabia is concerned.
"The Palestinian issue is not a top priority for the Saudi government or for the Saudi public," he reportedly said. "There are much more urgent and important issues to deal with — like Iran."
Even so, the crown prince added, a formal peace agreement must be advanced before Arab states normalize relations with Israel.
On Monday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu unveiled a massive cache of secret documents
, obtained in an exceptional Israeli intelligence operation this year, showing that Iran had developed a secret nuclear weapons program and that it lied when it claimed otherwise. Iran's quest for nuclear weapons and its recent adventurism throughout the Middle East seem to have played a role in softening Saudi Arabia's stance on Israel.
Israel claims proof Iran "lied" about past nuclear program, April 30, 2018 (Reuters
The crown prince has recently stepped up his role in promoting Israeli-Palestinian talks, and has met with US President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior advisor Jared Kushner, along with other US officials, to discuss the kingdom's role in the process.