News / Middle East

Saudi Arabia Tells Israel Only Peace Can Ensure Its Survival

FILE - Saudi Foreign Minister Saud Al-Faisal speaks at a news conference in Riyadh.FILE - Saudi Foreign Minister Saud Al-Faisal speaks at a news conference in Riyadh.
x
FILE - Saudi Foreign Minister Saud Al-Faisal speaks at a news conference in Riyadh.
FILE - Saudi Foreign Minister Saud Al-Faisal speaks at a news conference in Riyadh.
Reuters

Saudi Arabia told Israel on Tuesday that it must reach a peace agreement with the Palestinians if it is to survive as a nation, and criticized Muslims for being divided and failing to stop the Jewish state attacking its Arab neighbors.

“Israel has to realize that peace is the only solution for its survival,” Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal told a meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the world's largest Muslim body, on the situation in the Gaza Strip.

“As we see, Israel does not shy away from taking its terror to any level, with total disregard to any laws, rules, religious edicts or humanitarian considerations to achieve its goals.”

“Its only objective is to uproot the Palestinian existence wherever it is,” Prince Saud told the meeting in Jeddah, attended by Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah and ministers from the 56-member OIC.

Saudi Arabia, which regards itself as a leader of the Sunni Muslim world, has played only a background role in the diplomacy to end the fighting in Gaza, leaving its ally Egypt as the main Arab player pursuing a ceasefire - in its second day on Tuesday.

Complicated relations with Hamas

The kingdom's policy towards Gaza is complicated by its mistrust of the territory's ruling Hamas, an Islamist movement with close ideological and political links to the Muslim Brotherhood, which Riyadh regards as a terrorist organization.

Saudi Arabia believes the Brotherhood has a region-wide agenda to seize power from established governments, including the al-Saud dynasty, and has quarreled with Qatar over its support for the group.

Gaza hospital officials say 1,938 Palestinians, most of them civilians, have been killed since Israel launched a military campaign on July 8 to quell rocket fire from the enclave. Israel has lost 64 soldiers and three civilians.

Efforts to negotiate a permanent peace deal have failed due to differences over the borders of a Palestinian state, the fate of Arab East Jerusalem and the future of displaced Palestinians and their descendants.

Arab states, including Saudi Arabia, say they are willing to make peace with Israel after it withdraws from all lands it occupied in the 1967 Middle East war. Hamas' founding charter calls for the destruction of Israel, but its leaders have said in recent years it could live peacefully alongside Israel if Palestinians get back land they lost in 1967.

Offering 300 million Saudi riyals ($80 million) for medical relief aid, Prince Saud called for support for Egyptian efforts to end the fighting, saying Muslim divisions had allowed Israel to repeatedly launch wars against Muslims.

“Would it have been possible for Israel to carry out an aggression after another, had the Islamic nation been united?” Prince Saud asked.

“What tempts Israel to commit its continuous crimes against the Palestinian people and Muslims as a whole is the weakness it sees in the Muslim nation due to fragmentation and divisions and the spread of sedition within it.”

You May Like

Video Snowstorm Sweeps Northeastern US

'This is nothing like we feared it would be,' New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says; he had warned storm could be one of worst in city history More

Millions of Displaced Nigerians Struggle With Daily Existence

Government acknowledges over a million people displaced in 2014 due to fight against Boko Haram insurgency More

Facebook: Internal Error to Blame for Outages

Temporary outage appeared to spill over and temporarily slow or block traffic to other major Internet sites More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visiti
X
Aru Pande
January 26, 2015 9:33 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video US, EU Threaten New Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama has blamed Russia for an attack by Ukrainian separatists that left dozens dead in the port of Mariupol and cast further doubt on the viability of last year’s cease-fire with the Kyiv government. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Kerry Warns Against Violence in Nigeria Election

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria Sunday in a show of the level of concern within the U.S. and the international community over next month’s presidential election. Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Saudi, Yemen Developments Are Sudden Complications for Obama

The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and the collapse of Yemen’s government have cast further uncertainty on U.S. efforts to fight militants in the Middle East and also contain Iran’s influence in the region. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports on the new complications facing the Obama administration and its Middle East policy.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid