In an English-language interview conducted by Arab News, Abdallah Al-Mouallimi, the permanent representative of Saudi Arabia to the UN, said that the Kingdom is ready to normalize relations with Israel on the condition that it agrees to end the occupation of all Arab territories occupied in 1967 and allow the establishment of Palestine into an independent state.
Al-Moallimi explained that the Kingdom’s decision to normalize relations with Israel would be started as soon as the elements of the Arab Peace Initiative presented in 2002 were implemented.
The Arab Peace Initiative, also known as the “Saudi Initiative,” which calls for establishing an internationally recognized Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, was adopted by the League of Arab States during its summit in Beirut in 2002.
The diplomat also added that after implementing the initiative, it is not only Saudi Arabia but also the entire Muslim world. The 57 countries of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation would also recognize the state of Israel and will maintain relations with it.
However, he condemned Israeli practices in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and said that denying the Palestinians’ dignity and rights is wrong. He emphasized that the Israeli occupation of Palestinian is wrong no matter how long it lasts.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war and annexed the entire city in 1980 in a move that the international community has never recognized.
Last month a delegation of some 20 American Jewish leaders visited Saudi Arabia to meet senior officials there, including at least the government ministers and senior representatives from the Saudi royal house, to discuss the possibility of establishing ties between Riyadh and Tel Aviv.
Israeli move that occupied East Jerusalem during the Arab-Israeli war in 1967 and annexed the entire city in 1980 has been widely criticized and has never been recognized by the international community even until today.