Saudi Arabia 'Deeply Disappointed' by Trump's Jerusalem Speech

In the harshest statement published by the Sunni kingdom during Trump's tenure, Saudi Arabia denounced the 'great bias' expressed by the decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks in the White House, Wednesday, Dec. 6 2017
Evan Vucci/AP

WASHINGTON - Saudi Arabia is "deeply disappointed" by U.S. President Donald Trump's speech on Jerusalem, the Kingdom's embassy in Washington announced on Wednesday, in the harshest statement it has published since Trump came into office. The statement was initiated by Ambassador Khaled bin Salman, son of King Salman and brother of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

"The Kingdom expresses its denunciation and deep regret that the administration has taken this step, as it represents a great bias against the historic and permanent rights of the Palestinian people in Jerusalem," the statement declares. "The Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia hopes that the U.S. administration will reverse this action, and support the international will to enable the Palestinian people to regain their legitimate rights."

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King Salman called Trump on Tuesday ahead of the president's speech, and warned him of the "dangerous consequences" of recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Despite Trump's reportedly close connections with the Kingdom, the phone call didn't seem to have had any influence on the contents of Trump's declaration.

In the statement released after the speech, Saudi Arabia also stated that "the Kingdom reaffirms the importance of finding a just and lasting solution to the Palestinian cause in accordance with the relevant international resolutions, and the Arab Peace Initiative, so that the Palestinian people can regain their legitimate rights, which will strengthen security and stability in the region."

Trump released a rare statement on Wednesday calling on Saudi Arabia to allow humanitarian aid enter Yemen. "I have directed officials in my administration to call the leadership of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to request that they completely allow food, fuel, water and medicine to reach the Yemeni people who desperately need it. This must be done for humanitarian reasons immediately."