Mohammad bin Salman has held talks with Mahmoud Abbas to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict amid the heightened tensions over the US decision to recognize the whole city of Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state.
The heir to the Saudi crown has tried to convince the president of the Palestinian Authority to accept the peace scheme proposed by the United States, the Middle East Eye media outlet reported citing official sources close to the negotiations.
According to officials, Mohammad bin Salman underscored that Washington was the “the only game in town,” saying that no other power could pave the way toward a peaceful resolution of the decade-long standoff between Israelis and Palestinians.
“The US is the only one with real influence on Israel, it’s the only country that can put pressure on Israel in any peace process and no one else can do [that], neither the EU, nor Russia or China,” the crown prince was quoted as saying.
The US plan put forward by President Trump stipulates that the issues of Palestinian refugees and East Jerusalem, which Palestinians view as the capital of their independent state, would be set aside until later talks.
The sources pointed out that Abbas was aware of Washington’s proposal, but rejected it as a duplicate of Israel’s PM Netanyahu’s plan.
However, the Palestinian leader allegedly made it clear during the latest meeting with the Saudi crown prince that he was ready for a “meaningful” peace process.
“If the US is willing to declare that the peace process is based on the [so-called] two-state solution on the ’67 boundaries — including East Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Palestine — we are ready to engage immediately, but if they want to drag us to the Israeli version of peace, we cannot,” Abbas reportedly said, days after he declared that the US could no longer mediate one of the most explosive Middle East conflicts.
The protracted conflict between Israelis and Palestinians has seen a spike in tensions after President Trump moved to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state and promised to relocate the US embassy to the ancient city. The move has stirred up protests, causing popular anti-Israeli and anti-Trump demonstrations across the Middle East.
Source: Sputnik News