'No normalization, if not peace deal with Israel'

The Arab League's participation in US- hosted Annapolis conference does not mean normalization with Israel is unconditional, League chief Amr Mussa.

'No normalization, if not peace deal with Israel'
The Arab League's participation in the upcoming US- hosted Middle East peace conference does not signal a change in the Arab position nor does it mean that normalization with Israel is unconditional, League chief Amr Mussa said Sunday.

Speaking to the press at Cairo's international airport before departing for the United States at the head of an AL delegation, Mussa said there would be no normalization of relations with Israel "unless it's in the context of comprehensive peace."

"The unanimous participation of Arabs in the Annapolis meeting does not mean that the Arabic position that has been put forth by the (Saudi-proposed) Arab peace initiative has changed," added Mussa.

Arab leaders agreed in March to relaunch the 2002 Arab initiative, designed by Saudi Arabia, which promises normalization with Israel and Arab recognition of the Jewish state in return for a full Israeli pullout from the Palestinian Territories occupied in 1967, including Jerusalem, and a withdrawal from the Golan Heights in Syria and some territories in southern Lebanon.

The proposal also includes terms that would guarantee the right of return to thousands of Palestinian refugees stranded in poor conditions across hosting Arab countries.

"The Arab League will participate for the first time in a peace meeting in the presence of Israelis," said Mussa. "We will speak frankly during the meeting and we will announce that normalization will only be in the framework of the Arab peace initiative."

"We will confirm and stress on this in our calls and our speeches," the AL chief added.

In addition to the Arab League delegation, Egypt's Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahmed Abul-Gheit will also attend the meeting.


Agencies

Güncelleme Tarihi: 26 Kasım 2007, 13:58
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