Arab League summit considers withdrawing Arab Peace Initiative
Published Sunday 23/03/2014 (updated) 26/03/2014 19:29
KUWAIT (Ma'an) -- As the 25th Arab League Summit to be held in Kuwait next week draws closer, Arab officials told Ma'an that they are considering withdrawing the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002.
The initiative -- which calls for two states on the 1967 borders and a "just settlement" of the refugee issue in exchange for full normalization between Israel and the Arab world -- was largely rejected by Israeli officials after it was approved at the 2002 Beirut summit.
An Arab official in Kuwait told Ma'an that the initiative "would not remain forever an exhibition for Israel to watch."
He also asserted that the summit would definitely oppose recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, a key Israel demand in ongoing negotiations.
The foreign ministers of Arab countries are scheduled to convene Sunday to discuss the summit's draft report.
The summit's subcommittees confirmed to the Palestine envoy to the Arab League Muhammad Subih and ambassador to Egypt Barakat al-Farra that the Palestinian issue would dominate the summit's agenda.
Reviewing the Arab Peace Initiative will be central on the agenda alongside peace talks with Israel, the status of the occupied Golan Heights, and means for supporting Palestinian refugees in Lebanon.
Despite the ongoing dispute between the Gulf powers, the recent feud between Qatar and Saudi Arabia has not been mentioned in the backstage discussions, reportedly due to the intervention of the Emir of Kuwait.
The Syrian case remains a major point of contention, as both Iraq and Algeria opposed the attendance of the Syrian opposition as the representative of Syria at the summit.
It is still unclear, according to Kuwaiti media, how the Syrian opposition will be represented in the summit.
Palestinian foreign minister Riyad al-Maliki arrived in Kuwait Sunday morning while Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas is scheduled to arrive Monday.