Saudi king reaffirms support for Palestinian Arabs

Wednesday, 04 Apr, 2018

The crown prince, who is in line to succeed his 82-year-old father, King Salman, said: "This is what we have".

Saudi Arabia and Israel do not have any official diplomatic relations.

But Salman puzzled his interviewer when he denied that Wahhabism, the austere fundamentalist strand of Islam which is the bedrock of the country, even existed in Saudi Arabia.

Since 2002, Saudi Arabia has been working hard to achieve the USA sponsored Arab Peace Initiative, which envisions a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

While Saudi Arabia does not officially recognize Israel, bin Salman added that the Palestinians also have a right to land, but that a peace agreement needs to be arranged between both sides first.

During the meeting, Prince Mohammed reportedly vowed privately to promote religious liberty in Saudi Arabia. Then they would transform into a real Muslim empire.

In August 2016, some journalists in Saudi Arabia reported that Saudi Arabia had started shifting its tone towards Israel and had started to criticise anti-Semitism in Arab countries.

"Our country doesn't have a problem with Jews".

"Our country doesn't have a problem with Jews".

"It doesn't go back to the time of the Prophet Muhammad".

In October, Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund on Thursday announced that it would invest $1 billion in Virgin Galactic, a move that came one month after Branson's announcement that he would invest in the kingdom's Red Sea project that aims to turn 50 Saudi islands into luxury resorts.

We've got more newsletters we think you'll find interesting. At the same time, the Crown Prince expressing personal views in his official capacity is, well, "official". He has been accused by the Saudi Crown Prince of being worse than Hitler. Saudi leaders are hoping the policy shift will help the economy by increasing female participation in the workforce.

The need for reforms may already have reversed at least some of the leadership's previous ultraconservative stances, including the driving ban for women.

But the reforms have still been limited. There are duties to men and duties to women.

Increased tension between Tehran and Riyadh has fuelled speculation that shared interests may push Saudi Arabia and Israel to work together against what they regard as a common Iranian threat. That same Islam was widely promoted in Muslim countries around the world, thanks to the Saudi state's deep pockets. The crown prince told interviewer Jeffrey Goldberg that Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is the "new Hitler".

One possible interpretation of his remarks?