‘Saudi Arabia is establishing a relationship and is set to recognize Israel,’ the Hezbollah secretary general said in a broadcast; he warned Saudi Arabia from turning from its Arab allies, calling them to ‘be a partner in the effort to find a regional solution.’
Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah gave a speech Friday that was broadcast in South Lebanon, warning against deteriorating ties between Arab nations and coming out against talks with Israel.
“We are currently in the worst official state the Arab League has known in the last hundred years. There are, in fact, no nations, countries, Arab League or national Arab security.”
Nasrallah criticized the Arab League’s softening stance regarding Israel, saying, “Based on the Arab League’s summit meetings, these days Israel is (no longer) officially considered the Arab League’s enemy, while Palestine has become an obligatory burden.”
Saudi Arabia was particularly mentioned in Nasrallah’s speech, as he said that “the worst and most important development in this matter is Saudi Arabia taking its relationship with Israel from a clandestine connection to a public one.”
Nasrallah mentioned retired Saudi general Anwar Eshki’s visit to Jerusalem, reportedly to promote the 2002 Arab peace initiative, as one example of warming ties between Israel and Saudi Arabia. He also referred to meetings between Saudi Prince Turki al- Faisal with Israeli officials. “None of this could have happened without the Saudi government’s approval,” said Nasrallah. “We know how things are run there, where people are punished with lashes for tweeting.”
His speech emphasized that the current change lies not in beginning talks between Israel and Saudi Arabia, but in making their existing talks public. He stated that “Saudi Arabia is set to recognize Israel” and while it is moving to normalize its connection to Israel, Saudi Arabia is setting conditions for Yemen, Bahrain and Syria before doing the same with them. He also claimed that Saudi Arabia has a vested interest in continuing the fighting in the abovementioned countries and is therefore postponing any dialogue between themselves and the Arab countries.
“The Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs (Adel al-Jubeir—ed.) has declared himself to be the one controlling Syria,” said Nasrallah. “His proposal to Russia, (suggesting to divide Syrian control—ed.) is embarrassing and laughable. We are here to tell the Saudis they cannot win this war or impose their rules upon us.”
Nasrallah placed the blame for the recent terrorist attack in Europe on Saudi Arabia. “The man who slaughtered a priest in France may have been from ISIS, but he comes from culture. Those attacking in Nice, Germany, Iraq and Kabul, as well as those killing Palestinian children in Aleppo were all raised on your Wahabi culture. Your plan in this area has no future.”
He called upon Saudi Arabia to refocus its energy on working with its Arab allies. “Do not condescend and do not let hatred blind you. Be a partner in the effort to find a regional solution.”