Israel says no Jerusalem base for Saudi envoy to Palestinian Authority

Israel has rejected the idea of a diplomatic base in Jerusalem for Saudi Arabia’s envoy to the Palestinian Authority (PA), who recently presented his credentials to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s diplomatic adviser Majdi al-Khalidi.

Ambassador Nayef al-Sudairi, the kingdom’s current ambassador to Jordan, was named as non-resident envoy to Palestine and consul general in Jerusalem on Saturday at the Palestinian embassy in Amman.

Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen told Tel Aviv radio station 103 FM on Sunday that the new ambassador, Nayef al-Sudairi, could meet representatives of the PA but would have no fixed presence.

“Will there be an official physically sitting in Jerusalem? This we will not allow,” Cohen said.

Normalisation in the background?

The file for the Palestinian territory has traditionally been handled by Saudi Arabia’s embassy in Amman.

The Saudi move appeared to be in line with the longstanding and so-far fruitless Palestinian goal of founding a state in territories occupied by Israel in a 1967 war, with East Jerusalem as the capital.

Israel deems Jerusalem its own capital, a status recognised by the United States under then-President Donald Trump in 2017 but not by other world powers. Israeli authorities bar Palestinian diplomatic activity in the city.



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