Saudi King Meets Palestinian President Abbas, Doubles Down on Two-state Solution

Palestinian president's visit comes one week after heads of state from Muslim countries met in Turkey to reject and denounce President Donald Trump’s decision

In this photo released by Al-Ekhbariya, Saudi King Salman, right, receives Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas after he arrives in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017
Al-Ekhbariya via AP

Saudi Arabia's King Salman received Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Riyadh on Wednesday and reiterated the kingdom's support for the Palestinian people, state news agency SPA reported.

The king reassured the Palestinian leader that Saudi Arabia continues to support the right of Palestinians to an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital, SPA said.

The two leaders also discussed the latest developments in the Palestinian territories, it said. A dozen Saudi princes and officials also attended the meeting.

Saudi Arabia condemned U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and said any decision to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem before a permanent peace settlement is reached would inflame the feelings of Muslims, official media reported.

Abbas was in Qatar, the small gulf nation the Saudis are leading a boycott against, last Saturday holding discussions with the country's Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, on the implications of US President Donald Trump's official recognition on Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Abbas' visit to Riyadh comes one week after heads of state from Muslim countries met in Turkey to reject and denounce President Donald Trump’s decision. Saudi Arabia and some of its allies were notably absent from that summit amid reports that the kingdom is privately pressuring Abbas to relinquish Palestinian claims over east Jerusalem in exchange for continued U.S. pressure against Saudi rival, Iran.

Also, the UN General Assembly is expected to vote after the U.S. vetoed a Security Council resolution that would have required the Trump administration to rescind its Jerusalem decision.