Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is traveling to Saudi Arabia on November 6 in a surprise visit, where he will meet with King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.
A source close to Abbas told Haaretz that Abbas will head to Riyadh via Sharm el-Sheik, after meeting with Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi. “The visit was not planned but after being in touch yestrday, it was decided that Abbas would make a quick visit to Saudi Arabia.” The Palestinian ambassador in Riyadh, Bassam al-Agha, told Palestine Radio Monday morning that issues pertaining to both Palestinian and international matters will be discussed.
The Saudis are likely to raise the issue of Iran’s involvement with Palestinians, particularly in light of senior Hamas officials’ recent trip to Iran and after Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah cited a united front between Iran, Hamas and Hezbollah.
Saudi Arabia and Israel have reached an understanding of sorts, as they both oppose Iran’s growing influence in the region, especially concerning the conflict in Syria. Hence the Saudi leadership’s problem of presenting themselves as the “protectors of Arabian world”, and Israel being fine with the old-fashioned Saudi regime. This is also why Israel had tolerated “radical islamists” near its borders as they would have taken care of Bashar al-Assad’s regime.