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Saudi king hosts Palestine leader amid political upheaval Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Saudi king hosts Palestine leader amid political upheaval

The meeting was Abbas' first since last month's landmark Fatah-Hamas deal [WAFA]

Date of publication: 7 November, 2017

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Mahmoud Abbas met with King Salman on Tuesday and 'discussed efforts by US President Donald Trump to restart frozen Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.'
The Palestinian Authority president has met with the Saudi king in Riyadh during an impromptu trip amid unprecedented political upheaval in the kingdom.

Mahmoud Abbas met with King Salman on Tuesday and discussed efforts by US President Donald Trump to restart frozen Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, Palestinian state media reported.

The leaders also discussed the recent reconciliation agreement to end the ten-year rift between Abbas' Fatah and viral Hamas.

The snap visit was planned only 24-hours prior to being announced, Abbas travelled to Riyadh after meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Sharm al-Sheikh.

Cairo brokered the accord last month, under which the PA is due to take control of the Hamas-run Gaza Strip by December 1.

Abbas's visit to Riyadh comes after Hamas handed over control of the Gaza Strip's borders with Egypt and Israel to the Palestinian Authority last week, in the first key test of the deal.

Trump has been leading efforts in recent months to restart Israeli-Palestinian peace talks with the aim of achieving what the US president has called the "ultimate deal".

The meeting comes amid rising tensions between Riyadh and Tehran and a domestic corruption crackdown that has seen 30 prominent princes and business figures arrested.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman accused Iran on Tuesday of "direct military aggression" against the kingdom by supplying Yemen's Houthi rebels with ballistic missiles.

Saudi forces on Saturday intercepted and destroyed a ballistic missile near Riyadh international airport, reportedly fired from Yemen by the Houthi rebels.

It was the first reported Houthi missile launch to reach Riyadh and threaten air traffic, underscoring the growing threat posed by the conflict on Saudi Arabia's southern border.

Tensions have been rising between Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia and predominantly Shia Iran, which back opposing sides in wars and power struggles from Yemen to Syria.

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