Toronto - Gathering in Amman for the 2017 Arab Summit, Arab leaders looked out from their venue on to the Israeli occupied West Bank.
Toronto – Gathering in Amman for the 2017 Arab Summit, Arab leaders looked out from their venue on to the Israeli occupied West Bank.
When they emerged from their meetings it was with a united voice that they reiterated their support for a two-state Israel-Palestinian solution.
Hosted by Jordan’s King Abdullah II, the issue of the Palestinian state and Arab-Israeli peace clearly dominated the talks. In the coming weeks, US President Donald Trump is scheduled to meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi and Kind Abdullah II. Ahead of these meetings the Arab community seemed keen to send Trump a unified and strong message in support of a Palestinian state.
The 21 top Arab leaders gathered for the summit voiced their call for renewed peace talks based on a two-state solution. They also resurrected their offer of reconciliation, originally tabled in 2002. The offer stipulates that Israel will gain normalization with the Arab states if it promises to leave the Palestinian land it’s occupied since the 1967 war and agrees to deal on Palestinian refugees.
Their host, King Abdullah II, stated clearly that the only way for a clear path to Israeli-Palestinian peace is the creation of a Palestinian state to exist side by side with the state of Israel. In this respect, the Jordanian king was highly critical of continued Israeli incursion into Palestinian-owned land. “Israel is continuing to expand settlements and wreck chances of peace… There is no peace or stability in the region without a just and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian cause through a two-state solution.”
Also on hand for the summit was United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, who added his unmitigated support for a two-state solution, describing it as the “only path to ensure that Palestinians and Israelis can realize their national aspirations and live in peace, security and dignity.”
Arab leaders also took the opportunity to strenuously urge other countries not to relocate their Israeli embassies to Jerusalem, a clear reference to Trump’s recent talk of moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
As custodian of the Al-Aqsa mosque in Arab East Jerusalem, King Abdullah II warned of “catastrophic” reverberations if such a move was to take place. He vowed that Jordan will “continue to fight any attempts to change the status quo” of the site.