Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) told Fox News’ Bret Baier on Wednesday that he wants to see a “good life” for Palestinians, but did not mention a “Palestinian state” as a condition of peace with Israel.
Earlier this week, Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan told a United Nations event that “there is no other way to resolve the conflict than by ensuring the creation of a independent Palestinian state. But MBS didn’t seem to agree.
“For us, the Palestinian issue is very important,” MBS told Baier. “We have to solve this part. … We hope that he will succeed in making life easier for the Palestinians and bringing Israel back as a player in the Middle East.
The interview, broadcast on Fox News Special reportwas MBS’s first full-length interview in English.
– Ali Shihabi علي الشهابي (@aliShihabi) September 20, 2023
President Joe Biden has tried to encourage a peace deal between Saudi Arabia and Israel, after progress on the Abraham Accords stalled shortly after he took office. Liberal American Jewish groups insisted this week that any peace would be conditional on the creation of a Palestinian state.
A Palestinian state would be difficult for some parties in Netanyahu’s right-wing coalition to accept. And it would also be difficult to implement, while the Palestinian Authority continues to subsidize terrorism against Israel.
Moreover, the logic of the Abraham Accords – which the Saudis tacitly supported under the Trump administration – was that the Palestinians had no veto over progress. And MBS seems to agree.
MBS denied reports that he broke off negotiations with Israel and said negotiations were progressing. “Every day we get closer,” he said.
When asked if he could make peace with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, MBS replied that Saudi policy is not to interfere in the domestic politics of other countries. He added that if a deal could “meet the needs of the Palestinians and calm the region, we will work with everyone who is there.”
MBS said that if Iran got a nuclear weapon, then Saudi Arabia would want one too, as a deterrent – while adding that a nuclear weapon was “useless” because its use would mean incurring the wrath of Iran. world.
The Saudi crown prince said his goal was to accelerate his country’s economic growth and return Saudi Arabia to the world’s richest nations through regional development and integration.
Asked about the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at a Saudi diplomatic post in Turkey in 2018, MBS said it was unfortunate and those involved had been punished. He said he was trying to change other laws in Saudi Arabia, saying he was “ashamed” of harsh penalties, such as the death penalty for online dissent about X.
Joel B. Pollak is a senior editor at Breitbart News and host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: “Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Service.” He is also the author of the recent e-book Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is the recipient of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.