Saudi King Tells Trump: Convinced You Can Make Progress Toward Israeli-Palestinian Peace

The Israeli-Palestinian peace process was one of the main issues discussed between King Salman and the U.S. president, Saudi FM says

US President Donald Trump (L) and Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud gesture during a signing ceremony at the Saudi Royal Court in Riyadh on May 20, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN
US President Donald Trump (L) and Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud gesture during a signing ceremony at the Saudi Royal Court in Riyadh on May 20, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN MANDEL NGAN/AFP

Saudi King Salman told U.S. President Donald Trump during their meeting in Riyadh on Saturday that he is convinced in Trump's ability to make progress toward reaching a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said during a press conference with his U.S. counterpart, Rex Tillerson. The Saudis, Jubeir added, are willing to help.

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Jubeir noted that the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians is one of the central issues the two discussed during Trump meeting with King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud.

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He said the king is optimistic about the peace process and praised Trump's vision and determination to advance it.

The Saudi foreign minister noted that the kingdom is willing to work with the U.S. to help bring peace between Israel and the Palestinians and between Israel and the Gulf states.

Trump, in the first stop of his maiden trip abroad, received a regal welcome Saturday in Saudi Arabia.

>> Donald Trump's visit to Israel: Everything you need to know >>

Trump has long expressed his strong desire to "reach the ultimate deal" on the peace process and has more recently doubled down on his support for the two-state solution - his May 22 visit will undoubtably give more insight or even prove to be the opening shot for whatever his exact plans may be.

Trump is planning to meet both Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Abbas as well as visiting Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

Last week, the Gulf states compiled a proposal to take unprecedented steps toward normalization with Israel if the Netanyahu government in turn makes gestures to the Palestinians, such as freezing settlement construction in parts of the West Bank and easing trade restrictions in the Gaza Strip, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. 

The report is based on details from a document that was prepared during discussions between various Sunni Arab countries. According to the report, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which are leading the proposal, also updated the American administration and Israel on the bid.