|Shlaim blames Saudis for merely laying Arab Peace Initiative on the table, finds them pragmatic.|
|Middle East Online, Dec 16, 2010|
By Paul Handley – RIYADH
A Saudi-promoted Arab initiative is the best model for peace, Israeli-British “new historian” Avi Shlaim said in an interview in Riyadh, accusing Israel’s premier of sabotaging the process.
On his first visit to the Gulf state, the professor at St Antony’s College, Oxford said he had found Saudis “pragmatic” and ready to recognise Israel’s right to exist if a Palestinian state was created based on pre-1967 borders.
“I was surprised by … the lack of any harsh rhetoric and condemnation of Israel,” Shlaim, an expert on Israeli-Arab relations, said during a one-week visit to Riyadh.
Shlaim, a dual British-Israeli national who had to use his British passport to enter the kingdom, which does not recognise Israel, was invited by former intelligence chief Prince Turki al-Faisal, a brother of Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal.