Turkish president: Israel must adopt Arab peace plan

Outcome of ME unrest depends on whether Israelis, Palestinians make peace, agreement will curb extremism, Gul writes in 'NY Times' op-ed.

abdullah gul 311 (photo credit: REUTERS)
abdullah gul 311
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Turkish President Abdullah Gul called for a renewal of peace talks in light of the current unrest in the Middle East, in an op-ed published in Thursday's New York Times.
"The peoples of the region, without exception, revolted not only in the name of universal values but also to regain their long-suppressed national pride and dignity," Gul wrote. "But whether these uprisings lead to democracy and peace or to tyranny and conflict will depend on forging a lasting Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement and a broader Israeli-Arab peace."
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According to Gul, "the plight of the Palestinians has been a root cause of unrest and conflict in the region and is being used as a pretext for extremism in other corners of the world."
He explained that the "new political climate" in the Middle East, resulting in "the emergence of a democratic neighborhood" will assure Israel's security.
Gul suggested that Israel adopt the Arab League's peace plan, which includes a return to pre-1967 borders and diplomatic relations with Arab countries.
"History has taught us that demographics is the most decisive factor in determining the fate of nations. In the coming 50 years," Gul wrote, "Arabs will constitute the overwhelming majority of people between the Mediterranean Sea and the Dead Sea."
Therefore, Gul explained, "Israel cannot afford to be perceived as an apartheid island surrounded by an Arab sea of anger and hostility."