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Saudi envoy: No peace without Israeli concessions

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Saudi Arabia’s U.S. ambassador said his country would not engage in peace talks without major Israeli concessions.

Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir, responding to a letter to King Abdullah from U.S. lawmakers, said his government was not interested in "temporary confidence-building measures or gestures," and that talks would take place only when certain conditions are met.

"Essentially, it centers on Israel ending its occupation of the territories taken in 1967, including Jerusalem, establishing an independent Palestinian state, and providing for a just settlement for Palestinian refugees," Al-Jubeir wrote. "In exchange, Israel shall receive full recognition, a formal end to the conflict, peace, security and normal relations with all Arab countries."

Reps. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) and Ed Royce (R-Calif.) had organized a letter in July to Abdullah urging him to "assert a strong leadership role … with a dramatic gesture" toward Israel like those made by Egypt and Jordan, which resulted in diplomatic relations with the Jewish state. At least 100 U.S. Congressmen signed on to the letter.

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