Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman explicitly acknowledged that both Palestinians and Israelis have a right to their own homeland in an interview with U.S. magazine The Atlantic.
Asked whether the “Jewish people have a right to a nation-state in at least part of their ancestral homeland,” bin Salman said he believes “the Palestinians and the Israelis have the right to have their own land.”
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The 32-year-old prince added, “we have to have a peace agreement [between Palestinians and Israelis] to assure the stability for everyone.” He didn’t add any further details on future arrangements.
The BBC diplomatic correspondent Jonathan Marcus wrote that bin Salman’s comment marks a significant shift as previous Saudi leaders have maintained that any diplomatic relations with Israel required it to withdraw from “Arab lands” captured in the 1967 Middle East war, territory that Palestinians seek for a future state.
There is no formal diplomatic relationship between Saudi Arabia and Israel, but bin Salman’s warmer tone is a sign that ties between Riyadh and Jerusalem could be improving.
Bin Salman also spoke of potential mutual economic benefits. “Israel is a big economy compared to their size and it’s a growing economy, and of course there are a lot of interests we share with Israel and if there is peace, there would be a lot of interest between Israel and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries and countries like Egypt and Jordan,” he said.
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