As Israel, Saudi draw closer, crown prince asserts 'right to own land'

The Saudi Crown Prince is headed to Silicon Valley. One of its fanciest hotels is closed to the public. Coincidence?

The Saudi Crown Prince is headed to Silicon Valley. One of its fanciest hotels is closed to the public. Coincidence?

But now Crown Prince Salman - speaking to the editor-in-chief of U.S. news magazine The Atlantic - appeared to put the rival land claims on an equal footing.

The king also emphasized the need to advance the peace process, in comments made after Israeli security forces killed 16 Palestinians last week during a demonstration along the Israel-Gaza border.

Arab leaders, Bishara says, have long discussed arrangements whereby ties with Israel would be normalised in exchange of a full withdrawal from territories it occupied in the 1967 war.

Saudi Arabia - birthplace of Islam and site of its holiest shrines - has never officially recognized Israel.

"The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques [King Salman} emphasised the necessity of moving the peace process track in the Middle East within the framework of worldwide efforts, assuring the kingdom's firm positions on the Palestinian cause and the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people to establish their independent state with Jerusalem (Al-Quds) as its capital", the news agency said.

Bin Salman also said Saudi Arabia "does not have a problem" with Jews, saying that Islam's Prophet Muhammad "married a Jewish woman".

Under Saudi Arabia's existing guardianship system, a male family member - normally the father, husband or brother - must grant permission for a woman's study, travel and a host of other activities.

Saudi Arabia also held two Comic Con events in major cities, where thousands of fans dressed up in their favorite action-hero costumes.

Iran has expanded its influence with military support into conflicts in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen.

Do you think Iran is bringing you and Israel together?

He said: "The second part of the triangle is the Muslim Brotherhood, which is another extremist organization".

The Muslim Brotherhood was banned in Egypt after President Mohammed Morsi was ousted in 2013, but the group continues to have a strong following there, as well as in Jordan, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas praised King Salman, thanking him for his support.

While Hamas is seen as an obstacle to peace, "Palestinian leadership is directionless, dysfunctional and corrupt", Miller said. Asked about the Obama administration's nuclear deal with Iran - which President Trump has long lambasted - the crown prince sided with the current White House. He referred in his Atlantic interview to Israel's dynamic and technologically driven economy.

He admitted "there are a lot of interests" that Saudi Arabia shares with Israel.

While the Palestinians have shown no interest in living side by side with the Jewish State, and the prince believes the Palestinians are a distinct people and deserving of autonomy, his acknowledgement that Israel has a right to exist will have ripple effects.

"But we have to have a peace agreement to assure the stability for everyone and to have normal relations", he added.

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