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Palestinians reject reports of Saudi pressure on Abbas

Tue, 14.11.2017 12:03



Palestinian officials have rejected a report by an Israeli news outlet that said Saudi Arabia ordered Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to accept a US peace initiative or resign.

Israel's Channel 10 carried the report on Sunday, shortly after an unplanned visit by the Palestinian leader to Saudi Arabia last week. 

A spokesperson for Abbas' Fatah party, Osama Qawasmeh, told Al Jazeera the report was not true and that the Palestinian president's meeting with Saudi officials had gone well. 

"We completely reject the Israeli report. This is not true at all. Abbas’ meeting in Saudi was a positive one," Qawasmeh said.

"The Saudis expressed support for the Palestinian position, which is a two state solution built on the June 1967 borders, in line with international law. They also expressed support for the Palestinian reconciliation. 

"Our position and the Saudi position are aligned."

The Israeli report said Abbas was summoned to meet Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and was told to accept a peace plan devised by US President Donald Trump or resign.

Saudi officials were also reported to have been indignant that officials from the Hamas movement, which recently reconciled with Fatah, had visited Tehran.

The report comes amid claims of Saudi Arabia pressuring regional leaders into fall in line withs its foreign policy. 

Rumours abound over the reasons for Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri's resignation earlier in November.

A number of reports have suggested that Hariri is under house arrest for not taking a tough enough line on Hezbollah and its sponsor and Saudi Arabia's regional rival, Iran. 

Hariri appeared in a televised interview from Riyadh to clarify that the decision to step down was made out of his own choice and promised to return to Lebanon soon but analysts say that the Lebanese leader appeared uneasy.
Source: Al Jazeera

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