Pragmatic Saudi stand


SAUDI Arabia has said it is ready to normalize relations with Israel based on the 2002 Arab initiative proposal for peace.

In an interview with the Riyadh-based Arab News daily, Abdallah Al-Mouallimi, the kingdom’s permanent representative to the UN, said Riyadh is committed to the Arab Initiative for peace, which calls for an end to the Israeli occupation of all Arab territories occupied in 1967 and establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital in return for normalizing ties with Israel.

The reiteration of the Saudi position on the Middle-East problem is timely and reassuring as it came when the Israeli Prime Minister paid his first-ever visit to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with both sides agreeing to expand ties but the joint statement made no mention of the Palestinian conflict.

As Saudi Arabia enjoys a central position in the Muslim Ummah, its policy on issues important to the Islamic world matter much for Muslims around the globe.

The Kingdom made a pragmatic proposal way back in 2002 for the sake of genuine and durable peace in the region and it is satisfying that Riyadh still sticks to its principled position.

The Saudi proposal can surely ensure much-needed peace and security in the Middle-East but it all depends whether or not the Jewish state is willing to give up its aggressive posture.

Israel has clear advantages if it responds maturely to the Saudi offer as has been highlighted by the Saudi Ambassador that that once implementing the initiative, Israel will have recognition “not only from Saudi Arabia but the entire Muslim world, all 57 countries of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation”.

It is regrettable that instead of reciprocating to the peace overtures of KSA, Israel continues with its provocative actions including attacks on Palestinians and expansion of illegal Jewish settlements in occupied territories, which speaks volumes about designs of Tel Aviv.


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