Saudi Crown Prince receives US Christian delegation[/ltr]
[ltr][rtl]Release date: 2018/11/2 9:46[/rtl] • [rtl]4 times read[/rtl][/ltr]
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In a rare step, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met on Thursday with a delegation of American evangelical Christian figures at the Royal Palace in Riyadh.
The delegation was headed by expert Joel Rosenberg, and included former Senator Michelle Buckman and heads of American evangelical organizations, some with ties to Israel.
The visit comes amid growing international pressure on Mohammed bin Salman after the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside his consulate in Istanbul on October 2 last.
Earlier this week, the US Christian delegation met Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed.
"The Saudi Crown Prince's reception of the evangelical Christian leaders at the palace was a historic moment," the statement said.
The delegation also met with Saudi officials, including Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir, Saudi Ambassador to Washington Prince Khalid bin Salman and Secretary General of the Muslim World League Mohammed Al-Issa.
It is noteworthy that a number of members of the delegation advises US President Donald Trump on religious issues.
It is also striking that some of the symbols that the delegation included are supporters of Israel, which Saudi Arabia does not recognize.
Among them is Mike Evans, founder of the Jerusalem Prayer Group, who describes himself on his website as a "devout Christian American Zionist leader."
Saudi Arabia has linked normalization with Israel with the withdrawal of Tel Aviv from the Arab territories it occupied in 1967.
But the growing tension between Tehran and Riyadh may prompt the latter to work with Israel against what they see as a common Iranian threat.
In April, Mohammed bin Salman said Israelis had the right to live in peace "on their own land." A month earlier, Saudi Arabia opened its airspace for the first time to a commercial flight to Israel.