Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, tells the editor-in-chief of US news magazine The Atlantic, “There are a lot of interests we share with Israel and if there is peace, there would be a lot of interest between Israel and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries.”
The crown prince and de facto leader of Saudi Arabia said Israel has a “right” to a homeland, a notable shift in the kingdom’s position published Monday.
Saudi Arabia and Israel still have no formal diplomatic relations, but behind the scenes, improvements in their ties have accelerated in recent years.
Both countries see Iran as their biggest outside threat and the United States as their key ally, and both see danger from armed Islamist extremists.
Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians has long proved an obstacle to a full rapprochement, however, as Riyadh still supports their claim to sovereignty.
But now Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman — speaking to the editor-in-chief of US news magazine The Atlantic — appeared to put the rival land claims on an equal footing.
The prince was asked by Jeffrey Goldberg whether the “Jewish people have a right to a nation-state in at least part of their ancestral homeland?”
“I believe that each people, anywhere, has a right to live in their peaceful nation,” said the prince, who is on a three-week US tour.
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