NEW YORK, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud and the Secretary-General of the Arab League Ahmad Aboul Gheit yesterday convened a round table meeting of the members of the Arab Peace Initiative Committee and other international stakeholders on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Saudi launch of the Arab Peace Initiative.
The meeting was held on the sidelines of the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York and in the absence of prospects for a political solution to end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the alarming deterioration in the humanitarian situation and the growing threats with the rapid growth of illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories, and fears of a new wave of violence endangering the security and stability of the region.
Aboul Gheit said that Israel has not responded to the Arab Peace Initiative since it was launched by the late King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and then adopted by the Arab Summit in Beirut in 2002. Israel chose instead to stall, he said, considering that the status quo in the occupied Palestinian territories is unsustainable and does not serve even the future of Israel itself.
He recalled the great opportunity that the initiative entailed achieving comprehensive peace in the region on the basis of ending the occupation and establishing a Palestinian state on the June 4, 1967, borders, in exchange for establishing normal relations with Israel.
Aboul Gheit stressed in the meeting that 20 years since launching the peace initiative without reaching a final settlement clearly indicates that Israel is not facing sufficient pressure from the international community and that it chose settlements as an alternative to peace.
He pointed out that the Palestinians are increasingly frustrated by the absence of a political horizon, which could have serious repercussions that will not be in the interest of any party.
The meeting aims to work with regional and international partners to shed light on the tragic situation of the Palestinians in light of the deadlock in the peace process and the absence of any glimmer of hope, and to urge them to take practical steps to support the resumption of dialogue on the basis of the Arab Peace Initiative, United Nations resolutions and relevant peace references, in addition to reviving the diplomatic track to overcome the despair and lack of a vision toward achieving the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people and establishing their state with Jerusalem as its capital.
Participating in the round table discussion included the members of the Arab Peace Initiative Committee (Jordan, Egypt, Bahrain, Tunisia, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Iraq, Palestine, Qatar, Lebanon, Morocco, Yemen, Kuwait), European countries sponsoring peace in the Middle East (Spain, Sweden, France), the Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council, the Secretary-General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and the European Union and the United Nations envoys for the peace process.
Source: Palestine News & info Agency