Saudi Rejects Israel Recognition Without Withdrawal

[AFP] Paul Handley - Regional powerhouse Saudi Arabia on Wednesday rebuffed U.S. calls for diplomatic overtures toward Israel and said the Jewish state's settlement expansion is jeopardizing efforts to revive peace talks. "It is Israel that has to move seriously towards the peace process," Saudi Foreign Ministry spokesman Osama Nugali said. "Israel should withdraw from the Arab lands and put an end to its occupation and resolve the major issues of the conflict," he said, citing the future of Palestinian refugees, water-sharing issues, and Jerusalem's future status. Such issues must be resolved "in order to achieve a permanent, just and lasting peace which is based on the establishment of an independent, contiguous and viable Palestinian state," Nugali said. "In the Arab peace process, normalization comes after achieving these goals, not before it. So we should not put the cart before the horse."

2009-07-31 06:00:00

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