Sunday, March 29, 2009

Peace offer won't last forever - Arab League

The members of the Arab League, which starts a summit meeting tomorrow, warned that time is running out for a proposed peace deal with Israel.

Back in 2002 Saudi Arabia put forward an idea - that the Arab nations of the Middle East would all recognize Israel’s right to exist and open diplomatic relations if Israel would withdraw from the occupied Palestinian lands and return to the borders that existed before the Six Day War in 1967. As recently as last November Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said that Israel should seriously consider the Saudi offer.

But then Israel launched ‘Operation Cast Lead’, their military incursion into the Gaza Strip, and relations between Israel and the Arab world sunk. The Arab League is basically repeating a statement made by Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal in January, that the peace offer is not open-ended and that seven years of consideration is probably long enough.

Israel is still in the process of forming a new government following general elections in February and so far has not had a response either to the Saudi or Arab League statements, but there is a lot of concern that a new right-wing government under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who in the past has opposed an independent state for the Palestinians, will be far less open to peace negotiations.
Sphere: Related Content

No comments: