Arab leaders: We'll try to relaunch Israeli-Palestinian peace talks

Cheryl Sanders
March 31, 2017

The heads of Arab League states - attending a one-day summit beside the Dead Sea in Jordan - did not publicly refer to Trump or his statements on Wednesday, but they stressed their own continued backing for an independent Palestinian state.

Greenblatt affirmed Trump's belief that an Israeli-Palestinian deal "is not only possible, but would reverberate positively throughout the region and the world", the US Embassy in Jordan said.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres told the summit that the plight of the Palestinian people remained the "longest open wound in the region" and reaffirmed his commitment to a two state solution, saying there was "no plan B".

"I'm looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like", Trump said at the White House before a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

"We want peace and we had an honest discussion with the USA envoy who attended the summit", said Minister of Foreign Affairs Ayman Safadi at a press conference following the announcement of the Amman Declaration.

He noted that the summit welcomed the U.S. Special Envoy for International Negotiations, Jason Greenblatt "and that was a message that we want to achieve peace and want to work with the new U.S. administration for peace and we looking forward for intensive consultations with it to achieve peace".

The resolution due for a vote on May 1 states: "any action taken by Israel, the Occupying Power, to impose its laws, jurisdiction, and administration on the City of Jerusalem, are illegal and therefore null and void and have no validity what so ever".

A show of unity was expected on the Israeli-Palestinian question, but on other issues analysts said any breakthrough was highly unlikely.

From their venue on the shores of Jordan's Dead Sea, leaders from 21 Arab countries have a view of the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

An Arab peace initiative dating back to 2002 has offered normalised relations with Israel in exchange for resolving the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

"As we have in the past, we support the Arab Peace Initiative as a resolution to the conflict", Majdalani said, the Jerusalem Post reported.

The 22-member bloc has struggled to resolve any of the conflicts that started after the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings, including Syria's devastating six-year war. That would allow the creation of a Palestinian state encompassing the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem.

Arab leaders also took the opportunity to strenuously urge other countries not to relocate their Israeli embassies to Jerusalem, a clear reference to Trump's recent talk of moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

During the summit session, the Egyptian president and Saudi Arabia's King Salman slipped out of the summit session for face-to-face talks.

No. The Syrian president was not in attendance.

Despite talk of unity among the Arab nations, no concrete plans on how to solve Syria or any of the regions' other pressing issues were presented.

All member states in the Arab League will attend the summit, except Syria.

Other reports by iNewsToday