Palestinians have the right to Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem as their capital, Salman said on Wednesday in response to the US decision last week to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move its embassy there from Tel Aviv.
His televised address to the Kingdom’s Shura (Consultative) Council in Riyadh on Wednesday came as the world’s main pan-Islamic body held an emergency summit in Istanbul, Turkey.
At the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) summit, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on the world to recognise East Jerusalem as the “capital of Palestine”, while Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said there could be no peace in the Middle East until such a move was made.
Saudi Arabia, which hosts the OIC’s secretariat, sent only a senior foreign ministry official.
“The Kingdom has called for a political solution to resolve regional crises, foremost of which is the Palestinian issue and the restoration of the Palestinian people’s legitimate rights, including the right to establish their independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital,” Salman said.
Salman said US President Donald Trump‘s decision “represents an extreme bias against the rights of the Palestinian people in Jerusalem that have been guaranteed by international resolutions”.
Salman added: “I repeat the Kingdom’s condemnation and strong regret over the US decision on Jerusalem, for its relinquishment of the historic rights of the Palestinian people in Jerusalem.”
Talks with Abdullah
His speech came a day after welcoming Jordan’s King Abdullah II to his palace to discuss the latest regional developments, particularly those relating to Jerusalem and the “dangerous repercussions” of the US move, according to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).
During the meeting, the two rulers “also asserted the necessity to intensify and coordinate the Arab, Islamic and international efforts in order to protect the historic and firm rights of the Palestinian people in Jerusalem, in addition to the importance of finding a just and last solution for the Palestinian Cause in accordance with the international relevant resolutions and Arab Peace Initiative”, the SPA report said.
Arab states have put pressure on Jordan to accept the US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and a heavily stripped-down version of the Palestinian state, according to Jordanian politicians and analysts.
Jordan sided with the Palestinians and rejected Trump’s Jerusalem decision.
“Bin Salman and the United Arab Emirates are trying to strangle Jordan’s economy until it agrees to their terms, submit to their leadership in the region, and agree to Trump’s so-called ‘ultimate deal’,” Bani Mustafa said, referring to Trump’s as yet unexplained new plan to bring about peace between the Israelis and Palestinians.