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Asharq Al-Awsat
Asharq Al-Awsat
Jaddah - Ramallah - Asharq Al-Awsat

Abbas Arrives in Jeddah to ‘Hold Talks, Strengthen Saudi-Palestinian Relations’

Prince Badr bin Sultan, Deputy Emir of Makkah, receives Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Jeddah. (SPA)

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas arrived on Monday in Jeddah on an official visit at the invitation of Saudi Arabia, the Palestinian News Agency (WAFA) reported.

He was received at King Abdulaziz International Airport by Prince Badr bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz, deputy governor of Makkah region.

WAFA added that Abbas would meet on Tuesday with Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, to discuss latest Palestinian developments, the situation in the region and strengthening the Palestinian-Saudi brotherly relations.

Palestinian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Bassem Al-Agha pointed to “constant communication with the Saudi leadership for its distinguished and well-established positions towards Palestine.”

He added that the Palestinian president would discuss the latest political developments, without specifying the duration of the visit.

In comments to the Voice of Palestine radio station, the ambassador said that Abbas “will talk at length with King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Prince Mohammad bin Salman, the Crown Prince, about the Zionist crimes in Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and the suffering of the Palestinian people in terms of killing, displacement, and demolition of homes.”

The visit comes as Saudi Arabia is leading an Arab movement to address stances and unify efforts in various files.

On Saturday, the foreign ministers of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, and their counterparts in Jordan, Egypt, and Iraq, issued a joint statement at the end of a consultative meeting hosted by Saudi FM Prince Faisal bin Farhan in Jeddah.

The foreign ministers condemned Israel’s illegal practices that undermine the two-state solution and the opportunities for achieving a just and comprehensive peace.

They also denounced Israel’s attacks on Al-Aqsa Mosque and its violation of the sanctity of holy places.

The foreign ministers stressed the need to respect the historical and legal status quo at the holy site and maintained that the Al-Aqsa Mosque was a purely worship place for Muslims.

The top diplomats asserted that the Jordanian Awqaf and Al-Aqsa Mosque Affairs Department is the authorized body with exclusive jurisdiction to manage the affairs of the mosque and regulate entry into it under the historical Hashemite guardianship of Islamic and Christian holy places in Jerusalem.

The final statement noted that the consultative meeting comes within the framework of Saudi Arabia’s keenness to serve the matters of the Arab nation and promote the interests of its countries and peoples, at the invitation of Prince Faisal bin Farhan, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and in line with an endeavor to coordinate positions and unify efforts towards a number of files of common concern.

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