Cairo, Washington, Asharq Al-Awsat – Ministers and officials stressed that the Arab Peace Initiative would not be amended during the emergency meeting of Arab foreign ministers that began on Thursday in Cairo.
The Associated Press quoted Jordanian King Abdullah II Thursday saying that a new “combined approach” under discussion with the US would have Israel, Syria, Lebanon and other nations sitting down together to try to resolve the decades-old Middle East conflict.
Arab diplomats stated that Washington had requested that the 22 Arab League member states amend the Arab Peace Initiative so as to make it more acceptable to Israel.
The plan is to extend Arab collective recognition of Israel, to establish normal ties and to achieve peace in return for Israel withdrawing from the lands occupied in 1967, establishing a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, and ensuring a fair solution to the Palestinian refugee issue.
In a statement to Asharq Al-Awsat, two informed Arab sources denied having any knowledge of the issue [of Washington asking the Arab League to amend parts of the peace initiative] whilst another source stated that such comments could have been made but would not be accepted by the Arabs.
In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat in Cairo, Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa stressed that there will be no amendments made to the Arab Peace Initiative. “There is no way that Israel’s commitments will be reduced whilst imposing new commitments on the Arabs. The Arab Initiative is based on the idea of mutual commitments and this is an approach from which the Arabs will not deviate.”
Also Thursday, an informed source in Washington reiterated that the administration of US President Barack Obama is committed to the two-state solution and that his deputy Joe Biden was clear in his statement to AIPAC [American Israel Public Affairs Committee].
This came in response to reports that some congressmen backed by AIPAC were attempting to pressure the Obama administration to move away from the two-state solution.