Trump, New Saudi Crown Prince Discuss Israeli-Palestinian Peace Efforts in Phone Call

Trump and Saudi Arabia's new crown prince Mohammed bin Salman discussed numerous regional issues, including the ongoing Qatar crisis

President Donald Trump shakes hands with Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman during a bilateral meeting, Saturday, May 20, 2017
Photo/Evan Vucci

WASHINGTON - U.S. President Donald Trump called Saudi Arabia's new Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and congratulated him on his new position. According to a statement by the White House, the two leaders discussed a number of regional issues, including "efforts to achieve a lasting peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians" - an issue that was also discussed when bin Salman met with Trump in Washington earlier this year.

Another issue that was raised in their conversation is the crisis involving Qatar. On Tuesday, the State Department criticized Saudi Arabia and its allies in the Gulf for failing to clarify what exactly they are accusing Qatar of doing.

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Saudi Arabia’s King Salman on Wednesday appointed his 31-year-old son as crown prince, placing him firmly as first-in-line to the throne and removing the country’s counterterrorism czar and a figure well-known to Washington from the royal line of succession.

In a series of royal decrees carried on the state-run Saudi Press Agency, the monarch stripped Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, who had been positioned to inherit the throne, from his title as crown prince and from his powerful position as the country’s interior minister overseeing security.

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Iranian state media reacted quickly on Wednesday calling the  appointment of Mohammed Bin Salman to the position of crown prince and successor to Saudi Arabia's King Salman as a "soft coup."