Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi have been working together to persuade other Arab leaders to establish close trade ties with Israel while working to resolve political differences with the Tel Aviv regime as well, a new report suggests.
The push comes as part of US President Donald Trump’s so-called peace plan for the Middle East region, the UK-based Arabic newspaper Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reported Thursday.
According to the report, Salman and Sisi held extensive meetings during the Saudi prince’s visit to Cairo earlier this week to discuss Trump’s so-called “Deal of the Century” peace plan.
An analyst says an ongoing tour of Arab countries by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is meant to normalize relations with Israel.
The so-called deal, a backchannel plan to allegedly reach a peace settlement between Israel and the Palestinians, was proposed by the US administration late last year. Although the plan has not been released, leaks signal it will consist of the same tried and failed ideas.
It regards Jerusalem al-Quds entirely as Israeli territory, whereas Palestinians view the eastern sector of the occupied city as the capital of their future state.
Palestinians also believe that the US-drafted plan calls for keeping borders and security under Israeli control, while it keeps Israeli settlements’ final borders to be discussed in later negotiations.
MbS and Sisi have explored possible ways to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a way that would prompt as many Arab countries as possible to give relations with Israel another chance.
The Egyptian proposal to hold a summit with Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority is one of the possible solutions that the two close allies might have in store to further their agenda, the report said.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has already voiced opposition to such proposals, out of fear that Sisi would use the event to force him to make concessions in future agreements with Israel.
Citing its sources, however, the daily claimed that the Saudi crown prince was still likely to express enthusiasm for such a summit because it would help him clear his image amid reports of his involvement in the murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi as well as the ongoing Saudi war on Yemen.
The United Arab Emirates and Jordan – both supporting Riyadh’s deadly war on Yemen in their quest for more regional influence – are also in favor of holding such a summit.