Qatar's Emir to Kushner: Palestinian Statehood Is a Condition for Normalization With Israel

Kushner hopes another Arab country will normalize ties with Israel in coming months ■ Egypt's Sisi and Saudi Arabia's FM reiterate support for two-state solution

Reuters
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Qatar's ruler, Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, meets with U.S. President's senior adviser Jared Kushner in Doha, Qatar, September 2, 2020.
Qatar's ruler, Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, meets with U.S. President's senior adviser Jared Kushner in Doha, Qatar, September 2, 2020. Credit: QATAR NEWS AGENCY/ REUTERS
Reuters

Qatar's ruler Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani told White House adviser Jared Kushner on Wednesday that Doha supports a two-state solution, with East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state, to end the conflict with Israel, his cabinet said.

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Kushner, the son-in-law of U.S. President Donald Trump, is in Qatar after a U.S.-brokered accord last month for the United Arab Emirates and Israel to normalize ties.

Sheikh Tamim told Kushner Qatar remains committed to the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, in which Arab nations offered Israel normalized ties in return for a statehood deal with the Palestinians and full Israeli withdrawal from territory captured in the 1967 Middle East war.

Qatar has been brokering agreements between Hamas in the Gaza Strip and Israel, and on Monday mediated a deal to restore calm along the border in exchange for the funneling of Qatari aid into the Strip and investments in infrastructure. 

Kushner hopes another Arab country will normalize ties within months. He visited the UAE this week with an Israeli delegation for normalization talks before also travelling to Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

Earlier, Saudi Arabia said it will allow flights between Israel and the United Arab Emirates through the kingdom's airspace. 

Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud said the kingdom's decision to allow flights doesn't change its position on the Palestinian issue. "The kingdom appreciates all efforts towards a lasting, just peace, in accordance with the Arab Peace Initiative," he added in a tweet.

Also on Wednesday, Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi spoke with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the phone, stressing Cairo’s support for “any effort towards regional peace that would maintain the Palestinian people’s legitimate rights.

Sissi called on Netanyahu to avoid any unilateral moves, and underlined the “great importance” of keeping the calm in the fighting between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

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