While much of the rest of the world has viewed the Hamas victory in the Palestinian elections with caution if not outrage, the kingdom of Saudi Arabia officially weighed in on the vote with praise for the terrorist organization.
Following a meeting of the Council of Ministers, chaired by Prince Sultan, the Cabinet issued a statement welcoming the Hamas win and warning the international community to respect the rights of the Palestinian people to determine their future through the ballot box.
“We look forward to a favorable international response to these developments,” said the statement about the elections in Palestine in which Hamas won 74 of the 132 parliamentary seats.
The statement also called upon the international community to pressure Israel to follow the road to peace to achieve a just and comprehensive Middle East peace settlement.
The warm welcome for the Hamas victory is seen as an indication Saudi Arabia is likely to continue funding the Palestinian Authority under its new direction. Riyadh has pledged $100 million in funding through the next year.
While the U.S. has indicated it will not continue funding of the PA under Hamas leadership, Washington has discreetly suggested to Arab nations they should pick up the slack.
The Saudi pledge was made to PA leader Mahmoud Abbas when he visited Saudi Arabia last month.