By HANI HAZAIMEH
THE DEAD SEA, Jordan: The Council of Arab Foreign Ministers on Monday approved 17 draft resolutions, including the rejection of unilateral steps that “jeopardize the historic and legal status” of Jerusalem. The draft will be presented to Arab leaders at their summit on Wednesday.
It followed an announcement by Jason Greenblatt, US envoy to the Middle East, that he looks forward to attending the Arab Summit as an observer “to discuss how best to work together against extremism and toward peace and prosperity.”
Al-Safadi said the draft agenda prepared by the Council of Arab Foreign Ministers included 17 resolutions addressing all current Arab issues.
In response to a question about the possibility of transferring the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, Al-Safadi said that Arabs have repeatedly stressed the need to establish a just and lasting peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis in accordance with international covenants and resolutions, and within the two-state solution to ensure an independent Palestinian state on the Palestinian national territory with East Jerusalem as its capital. Al-Safadi also said Arab foreign ministers rejected unilateral steps that “jeopardize the historic and legal status” of Jerusalem.
This was an apparent reference to US President Donald Trump’s previously stated intentions to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem, the city at the core of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Palestinians seek a capital in east Jerusalem, captured by Israel in 1967, along with the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Al-Safadi said the resolution is one of “about 17” to be adopted later this week at the gathering of Arab heads of state. He said the ministers also reaffirmed the need to establish a state of Palestine alongside Israel.
Meanwhile, US envoy Greenblatt tweeted: “The US president believes peace between Israelis and Palestinians might be possible and that the time has come to make a deal and I believe that such a peace agreement will reverberate positively throughout the region and the world.”
Last month, Greenblatt met with senior Palestinian and Israeli officials, during which he reaffirmed the US commitment to achieving peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
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