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Arab leaders renew call for Palestine state as summit ends

Dead Sea, Jordan (IINA) – The 28th Arab League Summit, which ended on Wednesday in Jordan, called for a new round of peace talks on Palestine based on a two-state solution and renewed a 2002 offer of reconciliation if Israel quit occupied Arab land and agreed a deal on Palestinian refugees.

According to a communique read out by Secretary General of the Arab League Ahmed Aboul Gheit at the end of the one-day summit, the Arab states would back Palestinian-Israeli peace talks to end the decades-old conflict if it guaranteed the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel. Arab leaders have reaffirmed a 2002 peace plan that offers Israel normal ties if it cedes lands it captured in the 1967 Mideast war to a future Palestinian state. Peace is a strategic option for the Arab world, based on a two-state solution – Palestine in the pre-1967 lines – alongside Israel.

The summit also urged countries around the world not to move their diplomatic missions in Israel to contested Jerusalem, a signal to US President Donald Trump who said in the past he would move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to the holy city. The Palestinians seek East Jerusalem, captured in 1967, as a future capital. The conference venue on the Dead Sea coast is only a few kilometers from the occupied West Bank where Israeli settlements are clearly visible.

The summit’s host, King Abdullah of Jordan, said the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel remained the basis of any comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace deal. Israel is continuing to expand settlements and wreck chances of peace … There is no peace or stability in the region without a just and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian cause through a two-state solution,” he said.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas criticized Israeli policy in his speech at the summit. The Israeli government has since 2009 worked on wrecking the two-state solution by accelerating the tempo of settlements and the confiscation of land, Abbas said.

In his speech, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman called for solutions to the Palestinian-Israeli issue, and crises in Syria, Yemen, and Libya. Among the most serious threats confronting our Arab nation are extremism and terrorism which necessitates that we unify our efforts to combat these evils by all means, King Salman said. Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir disclosed after the end of the summit that Saudi Arabia has agreed to host the next annual Arab summit at the request of the United Arab Emirates.

Source: International Islamic News Agency

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