Saudi Arabian monarch Prince Salman told U.S. President Trump that East Jerusalem should be the capital of Palestine, while rejecting the U.S. Middle East peace plan, which does not address the Jerusalem and refugee issues.
Riyadh, Saudi Arabiaâs capital, agrees with the Arab countries that are afraid of Trumpâs so-called âDeal of the Century.â
Diplomats and analysts said that King Salmanâs guarantees to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, along with Salmanâs public advocacy, over recent months, have helped to change the perception that Saudi Arabia has switched its position under the leadership of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
However, this has raised doubts about whether Saudi Arabia is able to rally Arab support for a new campaign to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and unite against the common enemy of Iran.
âIn Saudi Arabia, it is the king who is making decisions on this issue, not the crown prince,â said a senior diplomat in Riyadh. âThe mistake made by the United States is that it believed one country could pressure the other countries to surrender, but it is not about pressure. An Arab leader does not have to give up Jerusalem or the Palestinians.â
A Palestinian official told Reuters, in December, that Prince Mohammed bin Salman had pressured President Abbas to support the US plan, despite fears that it would give the Palestinians limited autonomy within disconnected areas of the occupied West Bank without the right to return for refugees displaced from their homes, in the 1948 and 1967 wars.
According to the PNN, he said that Saudi Arabia had reassured its Arab allies that it would not agree to any Middle East peace plan that did not address the status of Jerusalem or the refugeesâ right to return, easing fears that the kingdom might support a U.S.-brokered agreement with Israel.