Saudi Crown Prince: We Share Common Interests With Israel, but There Must Be Peace With Palestinians

Mohammed bin Salman says he believes the Iranian supreme leader makes Hitler look good. 'Hitler didn’t do what the supreme leader is trying to do'

Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud, Crown Prince, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, at the United Nations on March 27, 2018 in New York
BRYAN R. SMITH/AFP

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman says his country has many shared interests with Israel, and that the two countries could share "a lot of interests" if there is an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.

In a lengthy interview with Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic, which was published on Monday, Prince Mohammad stated that both "the Palestinians and the Israelis have the right to have their own land." 

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Goldberg asked the Crown Prince if he believes "the Jewish people have a right to a nation-state in at least part of their ancestral homeland". The Crown Prince replied - "I believe that each people, anywhere, has a right to live in their peaceful nation. I believe the Palestinians and the Israelis have the right to have their own land. But we have to have a peace agreement to assure the stability for everyone and to have normal relations."

Read more: After Crown Prince Recognizes Israel's Right to Exist, Saudi King Reiterates Support for Palestinians

Goldberg then asked - "You have no religious-based objection to the existence of Israel?" - to which Prince Mohammed replied: "We have religious concerns about the fate of the holy mosque in Jerusalem and about the rights of the Palestinian people. This is what we have. We don’t have any objection against any other people." 

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Prince Mohammed also spoke about the interests that could bring Saudi Arabia and Israel closer, noting that cooperation against Iran is only one of them. "Israel is a big economy compared to their size and it’s a growing economy," he said. He added that "there are a lot of interests we share with Israel and if there is peace, there would be a lot of interest between Israel and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries and countries like Egypt and Jordan." 

Speaking of Iran, the Crown Prince said that "I believe the Iranian supreme leader makes Hitler look good. Hitler didn’t do what the supreme leader is trying to do. Hitler tried to conquer Europe. The supreme leader is trying to conquer the world.”

Saudi Arabia severed its diplmatic ties with Iran in 2013 following a ransacking of its diplomatic missions in Tehran and Mashhad by local protesters. The two nations are currently involved in a proxy war via Saudi Arabia's conflict with Houthi rebels in Yemen, which several powers claim are being armed by Tehran.