In what is being seen as a significant departure for the Middle Eastern country’s traditional stance, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman says he believes that both Palestinians and Israelis “have the right to have their own land” in an interview with The Atlantic.
As Reuters notes: “Saudi Arabia—birthplace of Islam and home to its holiest shrines—does not recognize Israel. It has maintained for years that normalizing relations hinges on Israeli withdrawal from Arab lands captured in the 1967 Middle East war, territory Palestinians seek for a future state.”
He was asked directly if the Jewish people have a right to have their own nation in the region. He added, “We have religious concerns about the fate of the holy mosque in Jerusalem and about the rights of the Palestinian people … We don’t have any objection against any other people.”
As Al Jazeera notes, the Crown Prince made some other noteworthy statements in the interview: “Bin Salman also said Saudi Arabia ‘does not have a problem’ with Jews, saying that Islam’s Prophet Muhammad ‘married a Jewish woman.’”
Despite decades of tensions between Saudi Arabia and Israel, things seem to be changing between the two counties. Last month, Saudi Arabia ended a ban on Israelis using their airspace. The Crown Prince is currently in the U.S. where he plans to meet with several Jewish groups.