A Saudi delegation to the West Bank, a first since the Oslo Accords in 1993

Nayef al-Sudaïri, Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the Palestinian territories, arrived in Jericho in the occupied West Bank on 26 September. He is due to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. This official visit is the first since the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993.

Nayef al-Sudaïri, recently appointed the kingdom's ambassador to the Palestinian territories, in Jericho, occupied West Bank, September 26, 2023. REUTERS - MOHAMAD TOROKMAN

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Saudi Arabia's ambassador to Amman, Nayef al-Sudaïri, was appointed last August as non-resident ambassador to the Palestinian territories. His delegation is to be received at the Foreign Ministry by the head of Palestinian diplomacy, Riyad al-Maliki. He is also due to present his credentials to President Mahmoud Abbas during a meeting in Ramallah.

This is the first visit by an official Saudi delegation to the West Bank since the Oslo Israeli-Palestinian peace accords of September 1993 that gave birth to the Palestinian Authority. It comes as Israel and Saudi Arabia try to normalize relations, a situation that worries Palestinians.

UN READ: Biden and Netanyahu try to unlock an Israel-Saudi Arabia agreement

Washington is indeed active and plays the role of mediator between the two countries that are not on the same wavelength on the Palestinian issue. The Saudi side continues to advocate a two-state solution and therefore does not recognize Israel. Israel has occupied the West Bank since 1967 and has imposed a strict blockade on the Gaza Strip since the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas seized power there in 2007, two years after Israel unilaterally withdrew.

In recent months, Saudi Arabia has given signs of a possible change in position by asking the United States for security guarantees and American assistance in the field of civil nuclear energy.

At the United Nations in New York, Benjamin Netanyahu recalled the normalization of Israel's relations with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain in 2020 and said: "We are close to an even more spectacular breakthrough, a historic peace between Israel and Saudi Arabia."

(With AFP)

See alsoIsrael-Palestine: 30 years after the Oslo Accords

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Read on on the same topics:

  • Palestinian Territories
  • Israel
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Diplomacy
  • Mahmoud Abbas