Saudi FM: Arab Peace Initiative is best way to end Mideast conflict

Rhonda Ballance News Editor. E-mail:

Rhonda Ballance News Editor. E-mail:




Adel al-Jubeir tells reporters at Paris conference that Arab League-backed plan has ‘all the elements needed for a final resolution’

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir talks to reporters at an international summit on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process in Paris on June 3, 2016 (Suha Halifa)

The Arab Peace Initiative is “still on the table,” and is the best way to reach a solution to the decades-long Israeli-Arab conflict, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said Friday, as diplomats and officials from 28 countries gathered in Paris to discuss ways to kick-start the long moribund Middle East peace process.

“The initiative has all the elements needed for a final resolution,” al-Jubeir said, according to the Ynet news website.

Responding to a question in Arabic, al-Jubeir said that the plan, first drafted by Riyadh in 2002 and subsequently backed by the Arab League, has not been amended. Israel has raised objections to elements of the initiative, which calls for an Israeli withdrawal of all territories captured in the 1967 Six Day War and a resolution to the issue of Palestinian refugees, in return for normalized relations with the Arab world.

“The Arab Peace Initiative does not need changing or adjusting, it is on the table as is,” al-Jubeir said, repeating that the essence of the plan is Israel’s return to the “1967 lines” and East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state.

The foreign minister also said that the issue of natural resources such as water need resolving, and called for Israel to halt settlement construction.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday partially endorsed the initiative, offering to negotiate with the Arab world the parameters of the plan.

“I take this opportunity to make clear that I remain committed to making peace with the Palestinians and with all our neighbors. The Arab Peace Initiative contains positive elements that could help revive constructive negotiations with the Palestinians,” Netanyahu declared in the Knesset.

“We are willing to negotiate with the Arab states revisions to that initiative so that it reflects the dramatic changes in our region since 2002, but maintains the agreed goal of two states for two peoples,” Netanyahu said, making his statement first in Hebrew and then repeating it in English.


The Times of Israel

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