February 21, 2017

Saudi Arabia has reasserted support for a Palestinian state after US President Donald Trump said Middle East peace does not depend on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Speaking on Monday after talks with his Italian counterpart, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said: “You have a peace deal which essentially calls for a settlement based on two states living side by side in peace and security.”
He added: “Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, and the just settlement of refugees and just sharing water resources. This is the settlement that we believe is a fair and just settlement.”
Trump said last week he could accept a two-state solution or a single-state arrangement if it is agreed upon by all sides. Administration officials later said the US absolutely supports a two-state solution.
Following talks with his Italian counterpart Angelino Alfano, Al-Jubeir pointed to the long history of Saudi-Italian relations.
Both discussed challenges to the Middle East peace process, Syria, Yemen, Iraq and Libya, in addition to the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 and the role Italy may play in this regard.
Meanwhile, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, hosting a visit by his Israeli counterpart, Benjamin Netanyahu, said his country believes in a “two-state solution.” Lee explained his stand at a joint news briefing with Netanyahu, who does not endorse the two-state approach. Lee said he realizes a two-state solution is difficult to achieve, but said it is the only way to achieve peace.
“We have consistently believed that a two-state solution between Israel and Palestine, however hard to achieve, is the only way to bring peace and security to both peoples,” Lee said.
Netanyahu did not mention tensions in the Middle East in his remarks at the news briefing, after which questions were not allowed.
But afterward, at a state dinner, he said he believes there is an opportunity to seek peace now “because I sense a great change in the Arab world, in many Arab countries, and I hope … to be able to use that newfound attitude toward Israel to help us solve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict as well.”