Following the announcement that Saudi Arabia and Iran intend resuming diplomatic relations within the next two months,Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince and Prime Minister, Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) needs to urgently answer this one question: "Is the Hashemite Kingdom of Palestine solution published on 8 June 2022 by your confidant Ali Shihabi dead - or is it still alive?"
Saudi Arabia severed ties with Iran after two of its diplomatic posts were attacked in Tehran and Mashhad in 2016 by demonstrators protesting Saudi Arabia's executions of 47 people convicted of terrorism - including Shia preacher Nimr al-Nimr and al-Qaeda ideologue Fares al-Shuwail.
MBS's answer will help give meaning to the final sentence intriguingly included in the Joint Trilateral Statement by the People's Republic of China, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the Islamic Republic of Iran issued on 10 March:
The three countries expressed their keenness to exert all efforts towards enhancing regional and international peace and security.
Has Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei decided to abandon Iran's call for the elimination of Israel and accept Israel's reality as expressed in the Hashemite Kingdom of Palestine solution?
Israel is a reality firmly implanted on the ground that has to be accepted, however grudgingly, by the region around it.
Is Paramount Leader Xi Jinping of China, a permanent member of the UN Security Council, ready to consider replacing the UN's failed 2016 two-state solution with the Hashemite Kingdom of Palestine solution?
MBS's response will also confirm or reject the claim by Saudi Arabia's former intelligence chief, Prince Turki Al-Feisal, that the Kingdom was sticking to the terms of the failed 2002 Arab Peace Initiative in its drive to normalise relations with Israel:
The terms are well-known. The creation of a sovereign Palestinian state with recognised borders and Jerusalem is its capital, and the return of Palestine refugees.
What I have said was not my opinion, but it was declared by officials. I trust the officials when they say anything, and anything made by media is nonsense.
The 2002 Arab Peace Initiative has been rejected by every Israeli government in the past 20 years. Its use by date has long expired.
Several Arab states have bypassed it and forged ties with Israel under the Abraham Accords.The Aqaba Summit seeks horizons for peace.
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