Israeli FM says won’t allow Saudi diplomatic representation in Palestinian territories

Sami Hegazi
2 Min Read

Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said Sunday that Israel will not allow Saudi Arabia to open any diplomatic representation of any kind “in territories under its control or sovereignty.”

Cohen’s comments came after Saudi Arabia appointed a non-resident ambassador to the Palestinian Authority and consul general in Jerusalem on Saturday. The move is seen as a sign of warming ties between the two countries, which do not have formal diplomatic relations.

Cohen said that Saudi Arabia had not coordinated with Israel on the appointment of the ambassador and that Israel would not allow the kingdom to open any diplomatic representation in the Palestinian territories.

“The Palestinian issue is not the main issue in the normalization talks,” Cohen said. “We will not allow countries to open consulates because we do not agree with their vision.”

The Saudi ambassador to Jordan, Nayef bin Bandar Al-Sudairi, handed over a copy of his credentials to the Palestinian President’s adviser for diplomatic affairs, Majdi Khalidi, on Saturday. The Saudi Embassy in Jordan said that the papers were handed over during a ceremony held at the embassy of the state of Palestine in Amman.

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan said during his participation in the Manama Dialogue Forum in December that “the establishment of an independent Palestinian state is the only way to normalize relations with Israel.”

In a virtual interview on the sidelines of the G20 summit in October, the bin Farhan minister said that “Riyadh supports full normalization with Israel on the condition that Palestinian rights are guaranteed.”

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