Monday, 6 May 2013


Plans Developing For A Final Palestinian/Arab/Israel Treaty In 2014?

The administration of President Barack Obama has been recruiting Arab states to support a U.S. drive for a Palestinian state in 2014.

Officials said the White House and State Department have been lobbying Arab allies of Washington, to support a peace deal with Israel that would enable the establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank. They said the Arab states were urged to move away from their traditional demand of a total Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem.

“We believe that with active Arab support, a peace initiative between Israel and the Palestinians would have a much greater chance of seeing results over the next year,” an official said.

On April 29, Qatar, which hosts Hamas headquarters, said it was ready to approve a peace deal that would include minor land swaps between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Qatari Prime Minister Hamad Bin Jassem Al Thani, who spoke in Washington, said this position was shared by the rest of the Arab League.

“The Arab League delegation understands that peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis is starting [and] is a strategic choice for the Arab states,” Hamad said. “The Arab League delegation affirmed that agreement should be based on the two-state solution on the basis of the 4th of June 1967 lines, with the possible of comparable and mutual agreed minor swap of the land.”

In 2002, the Arab League issued a plan that called for the establishment of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital as well as the return of the descendants of refugees from the 1948 war, reported at exceeding seven million people. At the time, Israel’s government endorsed portions of
the program.
Later, Hamad, also foreign minister, met U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry.

Officials said Kerry, assigned to launch a U.S. initiative for a Palestinian state in 2014, was pressing Arab states to modify their positions regarding a full Israeli withdrawal from territory captured in the 1967 war. They said Kerry, in a strategy employed by then-President Bill Clinton nearly 20 years ago, also urged Arab states to offer diplomatic relations with Israel as part of a peace deal with the Palestinians.

“If the Palestinians and Israelis reach a final status agreement between them, then the Arab community, 22 Arab countries and 57 Muslim countries that have signed up as members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, all of them have agreed, number one, that they would consider the conflict ended,” Kerry said on April 30. 
“Number two, that they would establish the normalization of relations with Israel; number three, that they would enter into peace agreements with Israel; and number four, that they would provide security for all states in the region. In other words, they are offering a security arrangement for that region.”

Hamad’s statement did not elicit enthusiasm in either Israel or the PA. The exception was Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, regarded as the most pro-U.S. member of the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“It’s definitely an important step,” Ms. Livni, responsible for negotiations with the PA, said. “I welcome it.”


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