No normalization with Israel without Palestinian state, Saudi ambassador to UK says

Saudi Arabia will not normalize ties with Israel at the expense of Palestinian statehood, the Kingdom’s ambassador to the UK said on Thursday. (X/@ChathamHouse)
Saudi Arabia will not normalize ties with Israel at the expense of Palestinian statehood, the Kingdom’s ambassador to the UK said on Thursday. (X/@ChathamHouse)
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Updated 21 June 2024
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No normalization with Israel without Palestinian state, Saudi ambassador to UK says

No normalization with Israel without Palestinian state, Saudi ambassador to UK says
  • Prince Khalid bin Bandar was speaking at Chatham House’s London Conference
  • Said Kingdom’s position on Arab-Israeli conflict has never changed

LONDON: Saudi Arabia will not normalize ties with Israel at the expense of Palestinian statehood, the Kingdom’s ambassador to the UK said on Thursday.

Speaking at Chatham House’s London Conference, Prince Khalid bin Bandar said that normalization remained important to Saudi Arabia and other nations in the region because it would ensure peace, stability and security.
He admitted that “compromises would have to be made” to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict, which he said affected the world in a way other conflicts did not.

“If what is happening (in Gaza) keeps happening, we are going to go down a path that is irreversible,” Prince Khalid said. 



“The further we get away from finding a solution, the more people lose hope, the more we’re at that point, it’s going to spread to a regional conflict. It’s important for everyone to recognisze the danger of what lies ahead. The conflict will not remain regional, it will become international very quickly,” he said.

But Prince Khalid said that normalization would be “irrelevant” until the plight of Palestinians was resolved.

“We believe in the creation of a Palestinian state and a solution to the conflict,” he said. “If it was easy, we’d have done it by now but without that, normalization is irrelevant. There is no point having normalization because we would still have conflict and conflict is the problem, not normalization.

“There is no point in discussing everything else until we find a solution. Once we do that, everything is on the table.”

Prince Khalid said that the Kingdom was “one of the most important countries in the region,” which had “leverage” in opening up the Arab and Muslim world to Israel and for it not to play a role in brokering a solution would be “silly.” 



But he added for that to happen, Israel “needs to play ball as well,” adding that the price for finding a solution was an independent Palestinian state.

The ambassador bemoaned how little global coverage the Saudi position on the crisis received, including Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s recent Hajj address, in which he reiterated calls for an immediate halt to attacks in Gaza.

“It’s important to recognize our position, which has never changed, despite people never listening to us,” Prince Khalid said.

“The crown prince’s positon, Saudi Arabia’s position, his majesty (King Salman)’s position, the government’s position and the will of almost every Saudi I know is we need a Palestinian state.



“The offer was made in the Arab Peace Initiative; on 1967 borders, a Palestinian state, a two-state solution and everyone lives happily ever after. It goes back to 1982, King Fahd presented the same offer, it has not been taken up, I find it mystifying.

“The crown prince stated very clearly, we need a ceasefire, an irreversible solution for the Palestinians and then there’s peace everywhere, it wasn’t even reported.

“It’s annoying and frustrating for us because the world assumes something totally different and that’s not helping the situation,” he said.


Saudi, North Macedonia to strengthen Islamic affairs cooperation

Saudi, North Macedonia to strengthen Islamic affairs cooperation
Updated 22 July 2024
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Saudi, North Macedonia to strengthen Islamic affairs cooperation

Saudi, North Macedonia to strengthen Islamic affairs cooperation
  • The pact was inked by Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to Albania Faisal bin Ghazi Hefzi and representatives of the Presidency of the Islamic Union of North Macedonia

RIYADH: The Kingdom and North Macedonia have signed an agreement to strengthen cooperation on Islamic affairs, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Monday.

The pact was inked by Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to Albania Faisal bin Ghazi Hefzi and representatives of the Presidency of the Islamic Union of North Macedonia.

Hefzi also serves as non-resident ambassador to North Macedonia, and was representing the Kingdom’s Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Dawah and Guidance.

In a press statement after the signing ceremony, Hefzi said the Kingdom supports all efforts to ensure peace and prosperity for Muslims worldwide.

The signing ceremony took place on Sunday in the Macedonian capital, Skopje, and was attended by various government representatives.


KSrelief delivers essential aid to thousands in Syria and Sudan

KSrelief delivers essential aid to thousands in Syria and Sudan
Updated 22 July 2024
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KSrelief delivers essential aid to thousands in Syria and Sudan

KSrelief delivers essential aid to thousands in Syria and Sudan
  • Both efforts reflect Saudi Arabia’s commitment, through KSrelief, to support vulnerable people worldwide

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia’s humanitarian agency KSrelief has delivered food and other aid to thousands of vulnerable people in Syria and Sudan.

In operations carried out on Friday in the Idlib region of Syria, KSrelief distributed 1,078 food baskets and hygiene kits for 6,468 individuals, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Sunday.

This was a part of the second phase of a project aimed at supporting people affected by the 2024 earthquake in northern Syria.

Also on Friday, in the northern state of Sudan, KSrelief provided 600 shelter bags for 3,450 individuals as a part of an ongoing aid project.

Both efforts reflect Saudi Arabia’s commitment, through KSrelief, to support vulnerable people worldwide, the SPA reported.


KSrelief conducts 40 orthopedic surgeries for Yemeni patients in Hadhramaut

KSrelief conducts 40 orthopedic surgeries for Yemeni patients in Hadhramaut
Updated 22 July 2024
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KSrelief conducts 40 orthopedic surgeries for Yemeni patients in Hadhramaut

KSrelief conducts 40 orthopedic surgeries for Yemeni patients in Hadhramaut

RIYADH: The Kingdom’s aid agency KSrelief carried out 40 orthopedic surgeries in Yemen’s Hadhramaut governorate from July 13 to 20.

The operations, overseen by seven specialists, were a part of a volunteer medical project in the Seiyun district, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Sunday.

The KSrelief team examined 69 patients over the period of the project.

In addition, they conducted a workshop on orthopedic surgery and knee injuries for 15 doctors.

The KSrelief team examined 69 patients over the period of the project. (SPA)

Meanwhile, KSrelief’s Supervisor-General Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah met with the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen Julien Harneis in Riyadh on Sunday.

During the meeting, they discussed ways to alleviate the suffering of the Yemeni people.

Harneis commended Saudi Arabia for its humanitarian and relief efforts in the war-torn nation.


Saudi Arabia clears 989 explosive devices in Yemen

Saudi Arabia clears 989 explosive devices in Yemen
Updated 22 July 2024
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Saudi Arabia clears 989 explosive devices in Yemen

Saudi Arabia clears 989 explosive devices in Yemen

RIYADH: Members of Saudi Arabia’s Masam Project removed 989 explosive devices from various regions of Yemen in the third week of July.

This included five anti-personnel mines, 46 anti-tank mines, 935 unexploded ordnances, and three explosive devices, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Sunday.

The Masam Project has now cleared 2,840 mines since the beginning of July in Yemen. In total, it has removed 451,908 explosive devices since it began operations in the country.

The SPA reported that these devices had been planted indiscriminately across the country to harm people, including children, women and the elderly.


Saudi Arabia wins 6 awards at 2024 International Mathematical Olympiad

Saudi Arabia wins 6 awards at 2024 International Mathematical Olympiad
Updated 22 July 2024
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Saudi Arabia wins 6 awards at 2024 International Mathematical Olympiad

Saudi Arabia wins 6 awards at 2024 International Mathematical Olympiad
  • Kingdom has now won 77 awards in total at the annual mathematics competition

RIYADH: The Kingdom won six medals at the 65th International Mathematical Olympiad 2024 held from July 15 to 21 at the University of Bath in the UK, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Monday.

The annual competition had teams of up to six contestants attempting to solve three complex problems in two exams of 4.5 hours each, over two consecutive days.

Hadi Al-Aithan from the Al-Ahsa education department won a silver medal. Bronze medals were won by Youssef Bakheet (Yanbu), Mohammed Rabie (Madinah), Muath Al-Qahtani (Eastern Province) and Ahmed Al-Shehri (Riyadh).

Mohammad Al-Ghamdi from the Eastern Province received a certificate of appreciation.

The Saudi Arabia team participated under the auspices of the King Abdulaziz and His Companions Foundation for Giftedness and Creativity, or Mawhiba, and the Ministry of Education.

Saudi Arabia’s participation is a part of the Mawhiba International Olympiad program, one of 20 initiatives offered annually based on advanced curricula and other development programs.

These initiatives offer gifted students an opportunity to develop their skills in collaboration with local and international partners, the SPA reported.

Saudi Arabia has now won 77 awards at the annual competition including 12 silver and 46 bronze medals, and 19 certificates of appreciation.