Provocation to Israel: Saudi Arabia appoints ambassador to the Palestinian territories

Provocation to Israel: Saudi Arabia appoints ambassador to the Palestinian territories

Saudi Arabia has appointed an ambassador to the Palestinian Territories, though not based there, amid speculation about a possible normalization of relations with Israel.

According to the Saudi Arabian foreign ministry, the current ambassador to Jordan, Najaf al-Sudairi, will be entrusted with the task. With the move, the Saudi Arabian leaders are underscoring their desire to strengthen relations with the “brothers of the State of Palestine and to give it a formal boost in all areas,” al-Sudairi said in a video broadcast by al-Echbariya TV station.

Al-Sudairi will also become Consul General in Jerusalem. So far, the Saudi Arabian embassy in Jordan has also been responsible for the Palestinian territories.

Saudi Arabia has not yet recognized Israel as a state. Unlike the neighboring United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, Riyadh did not join the so-called Abraham Agreement for normalization with Israel in 2020. Recently, however, there had been signs of normalization: last year, Saudi Arabia cleared the way for direct flights from Israel to the country for the first time.

A Palestinian Authority official told AFP that with the announcement, Saudi Arabia “reaffirmed its recognition of the State of Palestine with Jerusalem as its capital.” The agency will “further expand relations with Saudi Arabia,” he said. When asked, a spokesman for the Israeli Foreign Ministry initially referred only to the statement recently made by Foreign Minister Eli Cohen that “peace between Israel and Saudi Arabia” was only “a matter of time”.

According to Saudi Arabian expert Asis Algaschian, the appointment of the ambassador to the Palestinian Territories indicates what future diplomatic relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel could look like: “a Saudi Arabian ambassador to Palestine with jurisdiction over Israel.” In doing so, Riyadh is also underlining its “demand for Israeli concessions”. (afp)


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