RIYADH (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia said on Thursday that its 2002 Middle East peace plan remained the only framework to end the Arab-Israeli conflict, as the United Nations prepares to discuss the issue.
The U.N. Security Council was due to meet later this month to discuss Arab proposals to revive peace talks that have repeatedly stalled since Palestinians began an uprising against Israeli occupation in 2000.
But Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia — the closest Arab allies of the United States — hope to benefit from the political fallout of Israel’s recent 34-day war against Lebanon to push for a new start to comprehensive negotiations.
“The call by (King Abdullah) which was adopted by all the Arab world is the only one and the correct path for the Palestinian issue,” Crown Prince Sultan told reporters.
“It was a crazed war on Lebanon and a criminal aggression,” he said, referring to Israel’s attack on Hizbollah guerrillas in its northern neighbor.
The Arab peace initiative adopted by the Arab League in 2002 foresees an end to the historic conflict through land-for-peace deals with Syria, Lebanon and the Palestinians.
Talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, which administers a form of self-rule in territories seized by Israel in 1967, have been almost completely on hold since militant group Hamas came to power in January elections.
Arab governments hope negotiations can lead to a Palestinian state in territories, including East Jerusalem, that Israel has controlled since 1967.