Bethlehem /PNN /
In a significant development, Nayef al-Sudairi, the inaugural Saudi ambassador to Palestine, arrived in the occupied territories on Monday and is set to present his credentials to President Mahmoud Abbas in the coming days.
Welcoming the ambassador, Hussein al-Sheikh, Secretary-General of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), expressed their anticipation for the ambassador to officially present his credentials to President Mahmoud Abbas.
The Palestinian Foreign Ministry confirmed Sudairi's visit to Ramallah, the seat of the Palestinian Authority, on Tuesday and Wednesday, marking a historic step to bolster bilateral relations and foster collaboration across various domains.
Sudairi's appointment as the kingdom’s non-resident envoy to Palestine and consul general in al-Quds (Jerusalem) was made on August 13. Notably, Israel initially opposed the idea of a diplomatic base in Jerusalem for Saudi Arabia’s envoy due to its claim of the city as its capital.
However, this diplomatic move comes amid reports of the potential establishment of formal diplomatic relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel, driven by pressure from the United States. President Joe Biden has indicated progress after discussions between his national security adviser and Saudi officials aimed at improving relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel.
Despite US efforts to broker a historic agreement, Saudi Arabia remains cautious about any public steps that could be seen as normalization. The reluctance stems from Saudi Arabia's careful approach and reluctance toward full normalization with Israel.
Notably, Saudi Arabia had a Consulate General in Jerusalem, which was closed following Israel's occupation of the city in 1967. This recent diplomatic appointment reflects a strategic move towards engaging with Palestine and solidifying diplomatic ties.