Peace in Mideast remains strategic option -- Arab ministers


Date : 10/03/2014

CAIRO, March 10 (KUNA) -- Arab foreign ministers affirmed here on Monday that establishment of a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East remains a strategic option.
The peace process for the regional strife cannot be "disintegrated" and the regional peace cannot be attained without full Israeli withdrawal from occupied Arab and Palestinian territories, the ministers said in a statement released at conclusion the 141st regular session of the Arab League Ministerial Council.
They called on Israel to withdraw to the June 4, 1967 line, cooperate for finding a just solution to the problem of Palestinian refugees on basis of the Arab Peace Initiative and the UN resolution 194.
The Arab ministers urged for establishing an independent, sovereign Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, in line with the Arab Peace Initiative, endorsed at the 2002 Beirut Arab Summit, and re-endorsed at the summits held later.
Moreover, the Arab foreign ministers affirmed emphatic rejection of calls by Israeli leaders to "recognize Israel as a Jewish state," and pressures that have been exerted on the Palestinian leadership in this respect.
There shall be no peace without East Jerusalem as the capital of the state of Palestine, the official statement said, stressing that the city is an inseparable part of the Palestinian territories, occupied in 1967.
Israel's continuing settlement policy, judaization of the holy city, aggression on its Islamic and Christian sanctities, falsifying its history and heritage are all invalid measures according to the international laws, the Geneva conventions and the Hague treaty on cultural properties, the ministers said in their final statement.
They also denounced Israel's acts of desecration against the holy Al-Aqsa Mosque, namely by radical Jews, protected by policemen, as part of a plot to partition the sacred site and enforce total Israeli sovereignty on it. Furthermore, they warned that such a conspiracy, also intended to strip the Kingdom of Jordan of its governance of the sacred sites, would lead to regional destabilization, violence, deep hatred and flare-up of religious wars.
Israel will be responsible for such catastrophic eventualities, the statement emphasized urging the international community to shoulder responsibility of protecting the holy mosque.

The Arab foreign ministers called on the US and all European Union (EU) members to recognize a Palestinian state on the pre-June 1967 border with Jerusalem as its capital.
They emphasized that Palestine's efforts to obtain full UN membership and to join all international charters and protocols should be fully backed by all Arab countries, according to the final communiqu{.
They also called for holding an international conference on the Palestinian issue with a view to putting an end to the Israeli occupation of all Palestinian territories in line with relevant UN resolutions.
They asked the Arab Peace Initiative Committee to continue with assessing the Arab position on the Middle East peace process with all its different aspects, including continuing Arab commitment to the initiative as a strategic option.
Furthermore, they reiterated support for ongoing efforts to achieve inter-Palestinian reconciliation and welcomed the Doha Declaration which provided for a transitional government pursuant to the Cairo Agreement and making preparations for parliamentary and presidential elections.
The conferees also urged the international community and the UN to put more pressure on Israel to set free all Palestinian prisoners and detainees, primarily political and legislative leaders.
They further called on UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to take necessary moves to ensure the immediate release of Palestinian children jailed in Israeli prisons.

On Sudan, the Arab foreign ministers voiced full support and solidarity with Sudan, called for maintaining its unity, sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity and rejected interference in its internal affairs, according to the concluding statement.
They backed the Sudanese government's firm position on the full implementation of all agreements signed with South Sudan, while giving a priority to the security arrangement agreement.
But, they urged all Arab countries and the international community to fulfill international pledges to redress the Sudanese economic deficit following the separation of South Sudan, and to write off its debts.
The conferees also welcomed the peace agreements signed by the Sudanese government and Justice and Equity Movement in Doha in April, urging other revel movements and groups to joint peace accords, mainly the Doha Agreement.
They further called on Arab countries to ask the UN and other international organizations not to provide sheltering or support to Sudanese rebel movements in a bid to pressure them to join peace agreements, the statement added.
Arab countries and finance and investment funds were urged to commit resolutions made by the Arab Economic and Social Council in Khartoum on January 20, 2014, to run agricultural investments in Sudan.
Furthermore, the ministers called on Arab countries and governmental and non-governmental organizations to meet their financial pledges to alleviate humanitarian conditions in Sudan's Darfur region, according to the statement.

On the other hand, the Arab foreign ministers reiterated support for all peaceful measures and moves by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to restore its three islands occupied by Iran.
They condemned in their final statement following their 141st meeting in Cairo the Iranian governments' continuing attempts to consecrate its occupation of the three UAE islands and to violate this GCC country's sovereignty, thus disrupting regional security and stability and threatening international security and peace.
They blasted the Iranian government for building housing blocs on the three occupied Islands to settle Iranians, and for carrying out military exercises there.
Therefore, the ministers called on Iran to give up such violations and provocative acts which undermine confidence-building measures, pose threats to regional security and stability and jeopardize regional and international navigation in the Arabian Gulf.
They also denounced Iran's opening of two offices in the UAE's Abu Mousa Island, while calling on it to remove such illegitimate facilities and to respect the sovereignty of the UAE.
Moreover, the Arab foreign ministers called on Tehran to cancel a planned tour of the three islands by a delegation of Iranian members of parliament in violation of the UAE's sovereignty and in contradiction with efforts to find a peaceful settlement to the crisis.
They urged Iran to reconsider its opposition to attempts to resolve the problem either through face-to-face dialogue with UAE officials or arbitration through the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
The three UAE islands, Greater Tunb, Lesser Tunb and Abu Mousa are located at the entrance of the Strait of Hormuz, which is considered as one of the important straits and vital water passages in the world.
Iranian forces occupied these islands in November 1971. Iran expelled the people and displaced them using force.
Since then, UAE has been trying to get back its occupied islands using all possible peaceful means, but Iran claims that the islands are its integral part. (end) kt.mt KUNA 101801 Mar 14NNNN