Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar exposed Tuesday morning “The secret document of the Saudi Foreign Ministry,” that it claims includes a road map towards rejuvenating the 2002 Saudi Peace Initiative and hints at meetings and understandings between Israeli and Saudi officials.
The document, claims the paper, proves everything that has been leaked over the last few months since US President Donald Trump’s visit to the region in May. According to the leaks, Washington aims to mediate a peace agreement between Israel and the oil-rich kingdom. The document, said to be signed by Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, also allegedly confirms mutual visits by senior officials including the rumored visit of the Saudi Crown Prince to Tel Aviv.
According to the Lebanese paper, which is aligned with Hezbollah and has a history of fabrications, the document also includes “the compromises Riyadh will offer to end the Palestinian issue,” and in addition, “Riyadh’s efforts to gain support against Iran and Hezbollah.”
“Saudi Arabia’s rapprochement with Israel involves a risk to the Muslim peoples of the Kingdom, because the Palestinian cause represents a spiritual and historical and religious heritage,” reads the report claiming to quote the document. “The Kingdom will not take this risk unless it feels the United States’ sincere approach to Iran, which is destabilizing the region by sponsoring terrorism, its sectarian policies and interfering in the affairs of others.”
A key demand of the Saudis, according to the report, is the dismantling of Israel’s alleged nuclear weapons capabilities.
“Any rapprochement between the Kingdom and Israel depends on the parity of the relationship between the two countries. At the military level, Israel is the only country possessing nuclear weapons in the Middle East, which gives it superiority in the regional balance of power. Accordingly, the Kingdom should be allowed to possess such deterrent elements or Israel must demilitarize.”
The report stipulates that “Saudi Arabia will harness its diplomatic capabilities and political relations with the Palestinian Authority and with Arab and Islamic countries to facilitate finding reasonable, acceptable and innovative solutions to the disputed issues contained in the Arab peace initiative presented by Saudi Arabia, and through the adoption of innovative solutions by the United States.”
Among the guidelines Riyadh is reportedly proposing are: the subordination of the city of Jerusalem to international sovereignty, the permanent settlement of Palestinian refugees in the West Bank or their naturalization by other Muslim states and the holding of a major summit to launch a final peace agreement.
In exchange, the report says, Saudi Arabia will demand Washington ratchet up US and international sanctions against Iran for its ballistic missile program and its sponsorship of terrorism around the world and revisit the P5+1 nuclear agreement to make sure it is strictly enforced. The document also demands “intensive intelligence cooperation in the fight against organized crime and drug trafficking supported by Iran and Hezbollah.”
The Saudi peace initiative, also known as the Arab peace initiative, has been referenced over the last 15 years as a possible basis for peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Since Trump announced his plans to forge a wider regional peace agreement, which he dubbed “the ultimate deal,” it has resurfaced as a platform on which to pave a path forward. Recent reports have surfaced that the administration team tasked with finding a solution has moved on from the listening and learning mode and has begun proposing a path ahead.
There have also been reports, though they have been denied, that Saudi Arabia is pressuring Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas into accept Trump’s peace terms, most recently on a emergency visit Abbas was called to pay to the kingdom earlier this month.
There is no way to verify the content of the document reported by AL-Akhbar. Hezbollah, the Lebanese proxy of Iran, has reasons to try to discredit Saudi Arabia by painting it as capitulating to the US and Israel.