RIYADH: As Palestinians mark the 70th anniversary of the Nakba, the Palestinian ambassador to Saudi Arabia said they have always been able to count on “special relations” with the Kingdom.
“The people of Saudi Arabia consider the problems of the people of Palestine as their own,” said Basem Abdullah Al-Agha, in an exclusive interview with Arab News.
“Our relationship is historical, from King Abdulaziz, the founder of the modern Kingdom, to King Salman, we have shared very cordial and brotherly relations and (given) timely assistance.”
He noted that King Salman had renamed the Arab League summit in Dhahran as the Jerusalem Summit in solidarity with the Palestinians. “All the Saudi kings supported the Palestinian position with full support to the Palestinian cause in the United Nations, even at the cost of their own interests with some nations or organizations,” he said.
Saudi Arabia turned down a seat on the UN Security Council in 2013, citing the failure to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and failure to make the Middle East free of weapons of mass destruction.
Moreover, the Kingdom supports UN Resolution 2334, adopted by the Security Council in 2016, which says that Israeli settlements have no legal validity and constitute a flagrant violation of international laws, he said.
Adopted by 14 votes, with the US abstaining, the Security Council reiterated its demand that Israel immediately and completely cease all settlement of the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem. The UN underlined that it would not recognize any changes to the June 4,1967 lines, including with regards to Jerusalem.
At the Arab League summit in Dhahran, King Salman condemned the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
The envoy, however, expressed hope that justice will prevail and an independent state with Al-Quds Al-Sharqiya (East Jerusalem) as capital will be realized, adding that Al-Quds is one of the holiest places in Islam, with a very high place among all Arabs and Muslims.
“We share not only historic, but holy relations. With the Holy Qur’an referring to Al-Quds as a holy place, that makes it significant.”