Saudi King Salman: Palestinians Have Right to East Jerusalem as Capital

Remark comes after Abbas says monarch promised him there will be no peace without Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital

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In this photo provided by the Saudi Press Agency, King Salman attends a swearing in ceremony in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, November 6, 2017.
In this photo provided by the Saudi Press Agency, King Salman attends a swearing in ceremony in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, November 6, 2017.Credit: AP

Saudi Arabia's King Salman said on Wednesday that the Palestinians have a right to East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state, as Middle Eastern and Islamic leaders gathered in Istanbul to discuss U.S. President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

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"The kingdom has called for a political solution to resolve regional crises, foremost of which is the Palestinian issue and the restoration of the Palestinian people's legitimate rights, including the right to establish their independent state with east Jerusalem as its capital," King Salman said, according to AFP.

The king spoke to Saudi Arabia's Consultative Council as Muslim leaders held an emergency summit in Turkey that is expected to forge a unified stance against Trump's announcement.

Also on Wednesday, Intelligence Affairs Minister Yisrael Katz invited King Salman's son, Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, to Israel. Speaking in an interview to the Saudi online newspaper Elaph, Katz described Saudi Arabia as the leader of the Arab world and proposed that the kingdom would be a sponsor of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

>> The Saudi king has a problem: The crown prince | Analysis

Speaking at the emergency meeting in Istanbul, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said King Salman had promised him personally that there will be no peace deal without a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Abbas called on world nations, in particular European countries, to officially recognize Palestine within the 1967 borders. The Palestinian leader also called on the world’s nations to reconsider their recognition of Israel after the Trump administration’s decision.

Turkey, the summit host, has sharply criticized what it described as weak Arab response so far on the issue of contested Jerusalem.

In his address to the summit, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on world powers to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine and said the United States should reverse its decision.

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