Saudi Arab

Prince Turki al-Faisal meets Israeli officials in Monaco

manacoA meeting have taken place between a member of the Saudi royal family and Israeli officials in Monaco, Israeli media report.

The Sunday meeting took place at the World Policy Conference in Monaco, where Prince Turki Al-Faisal, the former head of the Saudi secret services and formerly Saudi ambassador to the United States, met Member of Knesset Meir Sheetrit (Hatnua) and formerly Israel’s ambassador to the US Itamar Rabinovich.

According to the Tuesday report by Maariv newspaper, the Saudi prince publicly shook hands with Rabinovich and held a discussion with MK Sheetrit.

The report said that Sheetrit invited the Saudi prince to address the Israeli Knesset, to which the prince replied that this would not be beneficial as long as Israel did not accept the Arab peace initiative. He called on Israel to accept the initiative so that details of its implementation can then be discussed.
The point is important that Saudi Arabia was considered as the leading state in confronting Egypt’s effort to come closer to Israel in 1970s.

The Arab Peace Initiative, unveiled in 2002 by Saudi Arabia, says that 22 Arab countries will normalize ties with Israel in return for an Israeli withdrawal to the indefensible and narrow 1949 armistice line and Israeli acceptance of the “Right of Return” for millions of descendants of Arabs who fled pre-Israeli occupation, effectively bringing an end to the Zionist state.

It was recently revived when Qatar’s Prime Minister indicated that he supported a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority that would be defined by the June 4, 1967 borders, but at the same time backed proposals for a “comparable and mutual agreed minor swap of the land” between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, to reflect the realities of the burgeoning communities on the ground. However, Palestinians and other Arab nations have ruled out any talks with Israel over land possession.

Maariv further reported that Prince Turki al-Faisal lauded the efforts being made by Secretary of State John Kerry in promoting peace talks but, in a hint of criticism against the administration in Washington, said that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and acting Palestinian Authority Chief Mahmoud Abbas need patronage from a responsible third party and expressed doubts that US President Barack Obama could be that responsible party.

The Saudi prince also related to the nuclear agreement recently signed between the West and Iran and said that the military option must remain on the table and must also be included within the broader framework of discussions on a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East.

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