'Arab peace plan currently unacceptable'

FM Tzipi Livni says Palestinian claim to "right of return" still a problem.

jp.services2 (photo credit: )
(photo credit: )
Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni told the Palestinian daily Al Ayamm in an interview published Thursday morning that "Israel could not accept the Arab peace initiative in its current format." The Arab peace plan, also known as the Saudi Initiative, was adopted by all the Arab states participating in the Beirut summit of the Arab League in April 2002. This initiative was proposed at the height of the current intifada and was largely dismissed by then-prime minister Ariel Sharon. It is the first Arab document that welcomes the state of Israel in exchange for peace with the state of Palestine. The plan also demands that Israel withdraw from all Palestinian territory and calls for "a just solution to the Palestinian refugee problem to be agreed upon in accordance with UN General Assembly Resolution 194." The initiative stipulates that Israel allow the return of Palestinian refugees and compensate those who don't want to return. Livni mentioned the wording regarding the Palestinian claim to a "right of return" as one of the reasons the plan was currently unacceptable to Israel. In addition, the Arab League peace initiative offers to:
  • "Consider the Arab-Israeli conflict ended, and enter into a peace agreement with Israel, and provide security for all the states of the region."
  • "Establish normal relations with Israel in the context of this comprehensive peace." It further calls for the establishment of a "sovereign independent Palestinian state on the Palestinian territories occupied since June 4, 1967 in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with east Jerusalem as its capital." The initiative calls on Israel to support this plan "to safeguard the prospects for peace and stop the further shedding of blood, enabling the Arab countries and Israel to live in peace and good neighborliness and provide future generations with security, stability and prosperity."