Saudi Arabia has issued an ultimatum to Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas: take up the Trump administration’s Israel-Palestine peace plan or step down from your position.
The Times of Israel reports that Saudi King Salman Abdulaziz Al Saud and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman brought Abbas in for a meeting and told him to “accept Trump’s peace plan or quit” as well as to rebuff any Iranian efforts to influence the PA.
The Saudi monarchy also reportedly demanded any cooperation between members of Fatah and Hezbollah, the Iranian proxy terror group, cease immediately.
However, a Palestinian Authority official pushed back on the notion that Saudi Arabia issued any sort of threat toward Abbas.
“The talk was about coordination, and it focused on three points,” the official told Haaretz. “One, supporting reconciliation and the president’s position on the arms issue; two, economic assistance; and three, that any diplomatic and regional settlement will be based on the Arab peace initiative, without any change.”
Political analyst Mazen Safi told the Jerusalem Post that the Saudis’ meeting with Abbas was meant to establish himself as “a power broker” in light of the Gulf Kingdom’s escalating tensions with Iran.
“Support from Arab countries is crucial and Abbas’ trip reinforces the need to assist the Palestinians against all obstacles,” said Safi. “Palestinian reconciliation requires the efforts of all Arab countries—and not just the Palestinians—since it will positively affect the region.”
The Trump peace plan that Salman referred to reportedly features some type of two-state solution that attempts to make all parties happy.
“For Israel, those could include limiting settlement construction to current blocs without taking new land, recommitting to a two-state solution and redesignating a small part of the West Bank to give Palestinians more control,” Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) reports. “The Palestinians could be asked to resume full security cooperation with Israel, hold off seeking further international recognition and end payments to families of Palestinians imprisoned for terrorist attacks.”
Saudi Arabia has long provided aid to the PA under the pretext that the PA provides political support to the Gulf Kingdom.