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Wed 29 Jan 2020 08:26 AM

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Saudi 'appreciates' Trump efforts on peace plan

Angry Palestinians have called the long-delayed plan biased and deserving to go into the dustbin of history

Saudi 'appreciates' Trump efforts on peace plan
US President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speak during a joint statement in the East Room of the White House on January 28, 2020 in Washington, DC. Image: Getty Images/AFP

Saudi Arabia said on Wednesday it "appreciates" President Donald Trump's efforts to devise a Middle East peace plan and called for the start of direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

Any disagreements with the plan should be resolved through negotiations under the auspices of the United States, it said, "in order to move forward the peace process to reach an agreement that achieves (the) legitimate rights of the Palestinian people."

"The kingdom appreciates the efforts of President Trump's Administration to develop a comprehensive peace plan between the Palestinian and the Israeli sides," the foreign ministry said in a statement carried on state media.

Angry Palestinians have called the long-delayed plan biased and deserving to go into the "dustbin of history".

Saudi Arabia's King Salman phoned Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas and stressed "the kingdom's steadfast stance on the Palestinian issue and the rights of the Palestinian people",  the SPA state news agency said.

The king stands by the Palestinian people and supports "their options and what achieves their hopes and aspirations" it said.

"The Palestinian President expressed his appreciation to (King Salman) for his keenness and interest in the Palestinian cause, and for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for its consistent and supportive stances towards Palestine and its people," SPA said.

The foreign ministry statement on the Trump peace plan cited the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative which emphasised that "a military solution to the conflict has not brought peace or security to any party".

The United Arab Emirates on Tuesday praised President Donald Trump's Mideast plan as a starting point to relaunch negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

"The plan announced today offers an important starting point for a return to negotiations within a US-led international framework," the UAE embassy in Washington said in a statement on Twitter.

Along with fellow Gulf Arab states Bahrain and Oman, the United Arab Emirates sent its ambassador to Trump's announcement alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu despite not recognizing the Jewish state.

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