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Arab Summit: Arab leaders endorse two-state solution

Paris Conference on Israel

Unease over the US president Donald Trump’s plan to move Washington’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, foreign ministers of Arab League member states gathered near the Jordanian Dead Sea for the 28th Arab summit to resolve decades old Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Arab summit concluded with a closing statement that “peace is a strategic option” for Arab states.

The Arab League endorsed the 15-year old  Peace initiative that was first launched in the Lebanese capital Beirut in 2002 calling for reconciliation with Israel provided Israel cedes lands it captured in the 1967 Mideast war  and creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel.

Under the peace plan, Israel will have to withdraw from the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967 of East Jerusalem, the Gaza Strip,West Bank and the Golan heights  in exchange for Israeli- Arab states relations normalization.

The leaders from 21 Arab countries discussed in detail the regional threats such as  turmoil in the region due to crisis in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Libya, new challenges like Islamic State and domestic threats like deteriorating socioeconomic and political conditions, unemployment  that forces youth to join terror groups and conflicts due to sectarian divisions.

The sufferings of the Palestinian children compelled the heads of Arab nations to resolve the decades long bloodshed that have only sown seeds for hatred and revenge. Israelis and Palestinians have already witnessed  a vicious cycle of hostility and retaliation in their confrontation.

The secretary general of the Arab League read the communique endorsed by the 21 heads of the Muslim states, that says “peace is a strategic option” for the Arab world  based on two- state solution.

The U.N. secretary general Antonio Guterres has warned Arab leaders that their internal divisions have helped breed sectarianism and terrorism and “any success will prove ephemeral” without a political solution  to Syria’s 6 -year-old  civil war.

Guterres said setting up a Palestinian state is the only solution to the decades old Isreali-Palestiian conflict  and Israeli settlements on war-won land are illegal and constructions must be stopped immediately.

The Middle-East peace plan approved by Arab summit assumes significance as Jordan’s King Abdullah II, Egyptian President Abdel -Fattah el-Sisi and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will be having one-to-one meeting with President Trump that may help Trump administration to spell out a suitable Middle East policy that may have the potential to resolve the crisis peacefully.

After his inauguration, Trump opposed two-state solution and suggested that there are many options on the table for peace in the Mideast  but recently in an interview  attorney Alan Dershowitz throws light on US President Donald Trump’s plan on Middle East peace deal that envisages Jerusalem, security on the West Bank, demilitarization, the right of return.

Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamin bin Hamad Al Thani said “We are required to jointly and seriously act to put pressure on the international community  and the UN Security Council to deal firmly with Israel to force it to stop building settlements, implement international legitimacy resolutions and end the continuous violations against the Palestinian people.

King Abdullah warned Israel that any unilateral move to change the status quo on the Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque  would have catastrophic consequences for the future of the region.

During his speech at the American Israel Public affairs Committee AIPAC annual conference, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu abandoned the mentioning of two-state solution and asked Palestinian Authority “to recognise the Jewish state”.

arti bali

By : Arti Bali

Senior Journalist

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