Abbas to discuss 'Palestine' with Arab League ministers in Cairo

PA chief will outline his Security Council bid before a special session with foreign ministers.

November 29, 2014 12:49
1 minute read.

A general view shows an extraordinary session of the Arab League at the league's headquarters in Cairo. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will meet with foreign ministers of the Arab League in Cairo on Saturday for talks on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Abbas is expected to discuss his push for statehood via the UN Security Council – a bid which includes setting a time frame for Israeli withdrawal to pre-1967 lines – during a much-anticipated session of the Arab Peace Initiative Committee.

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The so-called Arab Peace Initiative was first proposed in 2002 by Saudi Arabia and aims to normalize relations between Israel and the Arab world so long as the Jewish state withdraws from land it captured in 1967 and agrees to "just[ly] settle" Palestinian refugees.

The meeting, chaired by Kuwait's foreign minister, will focus primarily on the issue of Palestinian statehood, but also on Israel's actions in Jerusalem and atop Al Aksa – Islam's third holiest site which has recently become a flashpoint for violence between Palestinians and Israelis.

The meeting will also center on the Jewish state's controversial building expansion, and on regional terrorism.

Abbas arrived in the Egyptian capital on Thursday where he met Secretary General of the Arab League, Nabil al-Arabi, and Egypt's foreign minister as part of a three-day visit.

The high-level meetings dealt with the sough-after UN resolution as well as the volatile situation in Jerusalem, where religious tensions have escalated over access to a contested holy site at the heart of the city.

Ongoing efforts to rebuild the Gaza Strip after a 50-day war between Hamas and Israel left the coastal territory heavily damaged also took center stage at the talks, according to a Palestinian official, who was quoted by Kuwait's state-run news agency, KUNA.

Ramallah seeks a Security Council resolution that recognizes the West Bank as the lawful territory of a future Palestinian state and sets a timetable for a full Israeli withdrawal to 1967 borders. Abbas' push with the international body comes amid an eight-month political stalemate, after US-backed negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians collapsed in April. 

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