Monday, March 26, 2007

Main Points of Arab Plan for Peace with Israel

The Arab leaders have gathered in Riyadh today to revive a Saudi-inspired Arab peace initiative first floated five years ago in a bid to find peace in the Middle East.

The Saudi Press Agency had reported earlier this month that Iranian President Ahmadinejad had approved the plan during his meeting in Riyadh with King Abdullah (please see the posting on this site on 4 March, "Has Iran Accepted the Arab Peace Initiative?")

The Saudi plan was adopted at an Arab summit in Beirut in 2002. The following are the main points of the plan.

- Presenting the plan, Saudi crown prince (now king) Abdullah calls for full Israeli withdrawal from all the Arab territories occupied since June 1967, and Israel's acceptance of an independent Palestinian state, with east Jerusalem as its capital, in return for the establishment of normal relations in the context of a comprehensive peace with Israel.

- Arising from the conviction of Arab countries that a military solution to the conflict will not achieve peace or provide security for the parties, the council:

1 - Requests Israel to reconsider its policies and declare that a just peace is its strategic option as well.

2 - Further calls upon Israel to affirm:
a. Full Israeli withdrawal from all the territories occupied since 1967, including the Syrian Golan Heights to the lines of June 4, 1967 as well as the remaining occupied Lebanese territories in the south of Lebanon (the Shebaa Farms).
b. Achievement of a just solution to the Palestinian refugee problem to be agreed upon in accordance with UN General Assembly Resolution 194.
(UN General Assembly Resolution 194 (1948), Article 11: "Refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date.")
c. The acceptance of the establishment of a sovereign independent Palestinian state on the Palestinian territories occupied since June 4, 1967 in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with east Jerusalem as its capital.

3. Consequently, Arab countries affirm the following:
a. Consider the Arab-Israeli conflict ended, and enter into a peace agreement with Israel, and provide security for all the states of the region.
b. Establish normal relations with Israel in the context of this comprehensive peace.

4. Assures the rejection of all forms of Palestinian patriation which conflict with the special circumstances of Arab host countries.

5. Calls upon the government of Israel and all Israelis to accept this initiative in order to safeguard the prospects for peace and stop the further shedding of blood, enabling Arab countries and Israel to live in peace and good neighborliness and provide future generations with security, stability, and prosperity.

6. Invites the international community and all countries and organizations to support this initiative.

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