PA, Jordan and Egypt call for resumption of peace talks

The ministers discussed ways to push the concerned parties to engage in the peace process.

FLAGS OF Arab states are seen along the Nile River ahead of a meeting of foreign ministers in Cairo (photo credit: REUTERS)
FLAGS OF Arab states are seen along the Nile River ahead of a meeting of foreign ministers in Cairo
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Palestinian Authority, Egypt and Jordan on Saturday stressed the need to urge Israel to return to negotiations in order to reach a final settlement on the basis of a two-state solution to ensure the establishment of an independent, sovereign Palestinian state along the pre-1967 lines, with east Jerusalem as its capital.
PA Foreign Minister Riyad Malki, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said in a joint statement after meeting in Cairo that they had agreed to continue working towards launching “effective and serious negotiations [with Israel] to end the stalemate in the peace process and create a real political horizon for progress towards a just peace.”
The three ministers said that international resolutions, including United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334, as well as the Arab Peace Initiative, should serve as a basis for the resumption of talks.
Adopted by the Security Council in December 2016, Resolution 2334 expresses “grave concern that continuing Israeli settlement activities are dangerously imperiling the viability of the two-state solution based on the 1967 lines.”
The Arab Peace Initiative, endorsed by the Arab League in 2002, offers normalization of relations by the Arab countries with Israel, in return for a full withdrawal by Israel from the Golan Heights, West Bank and Gaza Strip and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital.
The ministers said they met to coordinate positions and to exchange views on regional developments and issues. The Palestinian issue, they said, is the central Arab issue.
The statement said that the ministers discussed ways to push the concerned parties to engage in the peace process and that the ministers agreed to continue coordinating positions regarding regional situations in a way that serves common interests and Arab issues and enhances security and stability in the region.
The ministers said that they also agreed on intensive steps to mobilize the international community against “illegal Israeli measures, especially settlement construction, house-demolitions and land confiscation.”
They warned that Israel’s practices “violate international law and undermine the two-state solution and the chances of reaching a just and comprehensive peace.”
The Arab ministers strongly condemned Israeli measures in Jerusalem and stressed that the al-Aqsa Mosque compound belongs only to Muslims. They went on to emphasize the “historic Hashemite custodianship over Islamic and Christian holy sites in Jerusalem.”
The ministers warned of the repercussions of the financial crisis facing the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), saying it affected the agency’s ability to provide vital services to Palestinian refugees.
After the meeting, Shoukry and Safadi told reporters that the PA, Egypt and Jordan were focusing their efforts on breaking the current stalemate and rallying worldwide support for solving the Palestinian issue.
Malki said that US President-elect Joe Biden has indicated his willingness to abide by the agreements signed between the US and the Palestinians.
The Palestinians are ready to cooperate with the new Biden administration, Malki said. “We are on the verge of dealing with a new us administration, and we must be ready, as Palestinians and Arabs, to deal with this new phase,” he stressed.
Regarding the chances of resuming negotiations with Israel, Malki said that Israel’s actions are “hindering the resumption of any peace process.”  He urged all countries to exert pressure on Israel to “stop its unilateral measures and adherer to signed agreements.”