Saudi Arabia Tells Abbas to Get in Line

Saudi Arabia Tells Abbas to Get in Line
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was instructed by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to accept a Trump administration peace agreement or resign during a tense meeting last week.

During a surprise meeting in Riyadh last week, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman reportedly directed Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to accept the Trump administration’s peace plan or resign.

The plan, still being drafted, would result in some form of “two-state solution,” according to The New York Times, but would also address the status of East Jerusalem, which includes the Old City, as well as the West Bank regions of Judea and Samaria. Some reports say the deal includes a “state within a state” plan, which might be an appealing compromise for Israel.

Such a deal with establish Israel’s permanent borders as agreed to in the 1994 Oslo Accords, but also provide the Palestinian Authority with broad autonomy within the West Bank and Gaza territories.

Salman called Abbas onto the carpet because he was reportedly outraged to see Fatah leadership cozying up to Iran in recent weeks, and demanded an immediate audience last week to express that frustration. In addition to accepting the Trump administration peace plan, the Palestinians—who are heavily dependent upon Saudi financial support—have been directed to no longer have contact with the Iranians, or Lebanese Hezbollah.

Although this would seemingly put the Hamas-Fatah reconciliation agreement in jeopardy, Palestinian news outlets, which are tightly controlled by Abbas, came out against Iranian “interference” in PA affairs shortly after the meeting in Riyadh.

The meeting between the Saudi crown prince and Palestinian president came on the heels of a surprise press conference—also in Riyadh—in which Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced he was resigning in response to Iranian “meddling” in his country’s affairs. He has since stated he will be returning soon to present his official resignation to the country’s president, Michael Aoun, who is a Christian aligned with Hezbollah.

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