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Arab League sends mixed signals on Palestinian-Israeli negotiations - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby (L) and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (R) talk as they arrive for an Arab League Foreign Ministers emergency meeting at the League's headquarters in Cairo, December 21, 2013 (REUTERS/ Mohamed Abd El Ghany).

Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby (L) and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (R) talk as they arrive for an Arab League Foreign Ministers emergency meeting at the League’s headquarters in Cairo, December 21, 2013 (REUTERS/ Mohamed Abd El Ghany).

Cairo, Asharq Al-Awsat—A Palestinian-Israeli “framework agreement” of security measures is currently being considered, despite Arab League rejection on Saturday of proposals to allow Israeli troops to remain on the eastern borders of a future Palestinian state, Asharq Al-Awsat has learned.

Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat on condition of anonymity, Arab League sources with knowledge of the talks said that proposals to assuage both Palestinian and Israeli security fears were currently under review by both sides, though they did not give any details of what has been proposed.

During an emergency Arab League ministerial meeting held in Cairo on Saturday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas presented US proposals to re-energize the Palestinian-Israeli peace process, including the signing of a framework agreement by the two sides during US Secretary of State John Kerry’s forthcoming visit to the Palestinian territories, later this month.

Kerry had previously proposed “security measures” to resolve the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli crisis, including an extended 10 to 15 year Israeli military presence in the Jordan Valley. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been adamant in seeking guarantees of an Israel security presence along the Jordan River in negotiations.

The meeting ended with an affirmation by Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby that the Palestinians would not accept the presence of Israeli troops inside the borders of any future state.

However, the resolution Elaraby read at the end of the meeting did not repeat the critical language of the report which had been circulated among the delegates ahead of the meeting.

The report, according to Reuters, claimed that US security proposals “achieved Israeli security expansionist demands, and guaranteed [Israel’s] continued control of [the Jordan Valley] on the pretext of security.”

According to the sources, room for compromise may exist, as a framework agreement is still under consideration in some form, despite the rejection of the latest proposals.

This may include the deployment of international forces in the Jordan Valley instead of Israeli troops, something which has not been rejected by Abbas.