Saudi king reiterates attachment to ‘Arab Peace initiative’ during Trump call

King Salman stressed Riyadh’s “keenness to reach a lasting and just solution to the Palestinian cause to bring peace, which is the main starting point for the Kingdom’s efforts and the Arab Peace Initiative.”
Monday 07/09/2020
A file picture shows Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud talking to world leaders from the Group of 20 and other international bodies and organisations, from his office in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, last Larch. (AFP)
A file picture shows Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud talking to world leaders from the Group of 20 and other international bodies and organisations, from his office in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, last Larch. (AFP)

RIYADH-– Saudi Arabia supports a “fair” solution for the Palestinian cause, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud told US President Donald Trump in a phone call Sunday.

During the call, the Saudi monarch “expressed the Kingdom’s appreciation for the efforts devoted by the United States to establishing peace,” Saudi news agency SPA reported. He also reiterated “the Kingdom’s keenness to reach a lasting and just solution to the Palestinian cause to bring peace, which is the main starting point for the Kingdom’s efforts and the Arab Peace Initiative.”

Saudi Arabia said last month it would establish diplomatic ties with Israel only after the Jewish state signed an internationally-recognised peace accord with the Palestinians.

Last week, Saudi Arabia agreed to permit UAE flights to “all countries” to overfly the kingdom, as Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced the launch of regular direct flights linking the UAE with the Jewish state.

The announcement came just days after the first direct commercial flight from Tel Aviv to Abu Dhabi passed through Saudi airspace, marking the normalisation of Israel-UAE ties under a US-backed deal known as the Abraham Accords.

Riyadh’s decision marked another concrete sign of Saudi Arabia’s accommodation of Israel even after it publicly refused to follow the UAE’s move.

“President Trump… welcomed the opening of Saudi air space to flights between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, beginning with last week’s historic commercial flight from Tel Aviv to Abu Dhabi,” said a White House readout of the phone call.

“President Trump highlighted the significance of the Abraham Accords and discussed ways to enhance regional security and prosperity.”

Allowing flights between Israel and the Emirates to cross Saudi airspace saves long detours around the Arabian peninsula.

During the call, the two leaders discussed the work of the G20 chaired by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia this year and the efforts made within its meetings to protect lives and livelihoods to mitigate the effects of COVID-19 pandemic. They also reviewed the most prominent policies that have been agreed upon to reduce the negative aspects of the pandemic on peoples and the global economy.

“The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques affirmed that the Kingdom’s G20 presidency will continue to support and coordinate the group’s efforts to confront the effects of COVID-19 on the human and economic levels,” said SPA.