Gillerman skeptical of new Arab League initiative

August 19, 2006 03:54


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UN ambassador Dan Gillerman says he doubts that a new Arab League initiative to end decades of Arab-Israeli conflict would fairly consider Israel's security needs. Arab League foreign ministers have asked to send a high-level delegation to a ministerial meeting of the Security Council in September to initiate a new effort to bring lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Gillerman said Friday that the country's top priority at the moment is "solving the Lebanon problem" and making sure the UN resolution ending the conflict with Hizbullah guerillas is implemented - not starting a new Mideast peace process. Arab foreign ministers decided to take the issue to the Security Council at a meeting in Cairo on July 15, two days after Israel launched an offensive against Hizbullah guerillas following their attack and kidnapping of two Israeli soldiers. At that meeting, Arab ministers declared the Mideast peace process "dead," blaming Israel for its demise.

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