The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has said that the entire “Muslim World”, including Riyadh, would recognise Israel if it withdraws to the 1967 boundary.
In an interview with Arab News, Abdallah Al-Mouallimi, Saudi Arabia’s permanent representative to the United Nations, said: “The official and latest Saudi position is that we are prepared to normalise relations with Israel as soon as Israel implements the elements of the Saudi Peace Initiative that was presented in 2002, that calls for the end of the occupation of all Arab territories occupied in 1967…
“An establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital and granting the Palestinian people the right of self-determination. As soon as that happens, not only Saudi Arabia but the entire Muslim World, all 57 countries of the OIC would follow suit in terms of recognising the state of Israel and establishing relations with her.”
East Jerusalem was occupied by Israel during the 1967 Arab-Israel war and the entire city was taken over in 1980.
Since it took over East Jerusalem in 1967 Israel has built Jewish-only settlements housing hundreds of thousands of people so it would need to dismantle those settlements if it were to comply with the Saudi plan.
The interviewer asked Al-Mouallimi about the policies Saudis have towards Israel considering that “it has achieved nothing in decades,” to which Al-Mouallimi replied: “Time doesn’t change right or wrong. The Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories is wrong, no matter how long it lasts. Israeli practices in the West Bank and Gaza, with regards to settlements and siege, and with regards to denying the Palestinians their dignity and rights, is wrong. That doesn’t change even if takes years passing by. So, the time has nothing to do with right and wrong.”
According to Israeli media reports, a delegation of 20 American Jewish leaders visited Saudi Arabia last month and met with senior officials including six government ministers and senior officials of the Saudi royal house. This was an attempt to evaluate the possibilities of establishing relations between Riyadh and Tel Aviv, according to Israeli media.