Saudi Arabia appoints first ambassador to ‘State of Palestine’

T. Belman. I have read 4 articles on this breaking news item. They all differ in many respects. The significance of the story is that the presentation of credentials to the State of Palestine, took place in Jordan. I believe that this heralds Jordan being considered the State of Palestine. Hereafter Saudi relations with the State of Palestine will take place in Jordan. Time will tell. 

Why now, since normalization is very far off.

While envoy’s portfolio will also include being non-resident Jerusalem consul general, that title refers to engagement with the Palestinians, not Israel

Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to Jordan presented his credentials on Saturday to begin also serving as Riyadh’s first-ever non-resident ambassador to Palestine, as well as its first-ever non-resident consul general to Jerusalem.

The move amounts to an apparent effort by Saudi Arabia to intensify its involvement in the region, as Riyadh engages in negotiations with the Biden administration about potentially normalizing relations with Israel.

Nayef al-Sudairi — who is a cousin of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) and seen as close to the royal palace — handed his credentials to PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s diplomatic adviser Majdi al-Khalidi during a meeting at the Palestinian embassy in Amman.

The appointment also represents a nod to the Palestinian Authority as well as a recognition of Palestinian claims to Jerusalem, since the credentials were presented to the PA and not Israel’s Foreign Ministry.

Because Sudairi will be a non-resident consul without a diplomatic mission in Jerusalem, approval is not required from Israel, which views the entire city as its undivided capital.

The dozen-plus countries that have diplomatic missions in East Jerusalem typically use them for engaging with the Palestinians. But unlike Riyadh, they also have formal relations with Israel that are managed by embassies based in Tel Aviv.

“This important step will contribute to strengthening the strong and solid brotherly relations that bind the two countries and the two brotherly peoples,” Khalidi said in a statement, expressing Ramallah’s appreciation for Riyadh’s support of the Palestinian cause.[..]


‘This we will not allow’: Israel blocks Saudi diplomat Nayef Al-Sudairi from having Jerusalem base

i24 NEWS

Israel ruled out on Sunday a diplomatic base in Jerusalem for the new Saudi envoy to the Palestinians, whose appointment comes as Washington tries to forge formal Israeli relations with Riyadh.

Saudi Ambassador to Jordan Nayef Al-Sudairi on Saturday expanded his credentials to include non-resident envoy to the Palestinians.

A social media post by his embassy in Amman said “consul-general in Jerusalem” was now among Al-Sudairi’s duties.

That appeared to correspond with the Palestinians’ long-standing and so-far fruitless goal of founding a state in territories occupied by Israel in a 1967 war, with East Jerusalem as capital.

Israel deems Jerusalem its own capital, a status recognised by the US under then-President Donald Trump in 2017 but not by other world powers.

Israeli authorities bar Palestinian diplomatic activity in the city.

Saudi Arabia, Islam’s birthplace, has championed the Palestinian cause and shunned official ties with Israel but the US is seeking to promote what could be a historic Middle East deal that would include normalising Israeli-Saudi relations.<

“This (Al-Sudairi) could be a delegate who will meet with representatives in the Palestinian Authority,” Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen told Tel Aviv radio station 103 FM.

“We will not allow the opening of any kind of diplomatic mission” in Jerusalem, Cohen added.

“Will there be an official physically sitting in Jerusalem? This we will not allow.”

Israel’s hard-right government has played down any prospect of it giving significant ground to the Palestinians as part of a normalisation deal with Saudi Arabia.

Riyadh has previously conditioned recognition of Israel on Palestinians’ statehood goal being addressed.

Among challenges to that goal is the schism between the internationally backed Palestinian administration and its armed Islamist rival Hamas.

Bassam Al-Agha, the Palestinian ambassador to Riyadh, cast Al-Sudairi’s appointment as Saudi affirmation of Palestinian statehood and “rejection of what had been announced by former US president Trump”.

“This means a continuation of Saudi Arabia’s positions,” Al-Agha told Voice of Palestine radio.

While Cohen said Al-Sudairi’s appointment had not been coordinated with Israel, he saw a possible link to the normalisation prospects.

“What is behind this development is that, against the backdrop of progress in the US talks with Saudi Arabia and Israel, the Saudis want to relay a message to the Palestinians that they have not forgotten them,” Cohen said.

August 14, 2023 | 1 Comment »

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  1. Why now, indeed. I wonder if the impetus comes from Washington, D.C.

    The Biden/Obama administrations have been focused on empowering the Palestinians at the expense of the Israelis, just as they have focused on empowering the Iranians at the expense of Israel.

    Biden must desperately want some kind of “deal” he can take credit for, since he can take credit for nothing else that has occurred on his watch. But he has no honest interest in helping Israel, only an interest in making it seem like he cares about Israel. His focus is simply on having an agreement that benefits the Palestinians even if it is at Israel’s expense. I am sure Saudi Arabia is fine with playing the US off with China to see what S.A. can gain from either or both.

    If the Palestinians get a home in Jordan, that would be a huge success for everyone: the Palestinians, the Israelis, and the Middle East as a whole.

    I have one question. It seems I have read here or in a video from this website that Jordan is a failed state and that Iran is in partial control of Jordan. How does Iran feel about Mudar Zahran and having Jordan become the Palestinian homeland? Will Iran have any say in the matter?