Arab league to normalize relations with Israel if ‘two-state solution’ materializes

Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit reaffirmed the commitment of Arab leaders to a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians, while calling for a new round of peace talks based on the Arab Peace Initiative, initially introduced in 2002, which offers a normalization of relations between Israel and the Arab world in exchange for a peace agreement that would see a Palestinian state next to Israel, based on the 1967 borders and with east Jerusalem as its capital. 

“Comprehensive and lasting peace is a strategic Arab choice, embodied by the Arab Peace Initiative which was adopted by all Arab nations in the Beirut Summit in 2002 and was backed by the Islamic Cooperation Council. It remains the most comprehensive deal, one which has the best chance of achieving a historic reconciliation, based on the withdrawal of Israel from all occupied Palestinian and Syrian lands to the July 4, 1967 line. [The deal] also ensures all final status issues, at its forefront the refugee issue, and it provides security, acceptance and peace to Israel with all Arab nations,” said Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Arab League Secretary-General.

During the summit, its host, King Abdullah of Jordan, declared that the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel remained the basis of any comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace deal, while Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said that once a deal would be reached between Israel and the Palestinians, the whole Arab world would recognize and normalize relations with the Jewish state. 

“The whole Arab world is standing behind the Arab Peace Initiative as the most comprehensive offer yet to reach lasting and comprehensive peace between Israel and all members of the Arab League. It is an initiative, as you know, that offers historic reconciliation between Israel and the whole Arab world and it is also an initiative, as you know, that offers historic reconciliation between Israel the whole Arab world and it is also an initiative that has been endorsed by all members of the Islamic Conference Organization. So, yes, it is a message of peace, and yes, the Arab world is willing to engage in serious direct negotiations with a view to reaching a solution on the basis of the two-state solution which we believe is the only way to achieve peace between the two parties,” said Safadi. 

In the next two weeks, US President Donald Trump is scheduled to meet with two Arab leaders, including Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and then with Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, after which Washington is expected to reveal a presidential plan that would set the guidelines for a political process to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Meanwhile, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas said, the Trump Administration has assured him that Washington would “move toward building peace” between the Palestinians and Israel. 

“US President Donald Trump called us and invited us to visit him in the White House in order to discuss the ways we could propel the peace process. It was agreed that the U.S. administration will move towards building peace between us and the Israelis,” said Abbas.