Israel Urged to Commit to Arab Plan

Arab states will adhere to their Middle East peace initiative only when Israel also abides by its terms, Kuwait’s emir has said in talks with the US president.

"It is in our interest that peace be brought about [between Israel and the Arab world]" Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah said as he met Barack Obama at the White House on Monday.

"We will implement this peace initiative when Israel implements and fulfills its obligations," he said, referring to the Arab Peace Initiative, which was presented by Saudi Arabia in 2002.

Under the terms of the Arab proposals, which were re-adopted at an Arab League summit in Lebanon in 2007, Israel would be granted a full normalisation of relations if it withdraws from Arab land occupied since the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

The initiative calls for the creation of a viable Palestinian state in Gaza and the West Bank, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

It also seeks a "just solution" to the long-term future of Palestinian refugees under the terms of UN General Assembly resolution 194.

The Israeli government has repeatedly rejected calls for Palestinians who fled or were forced out of their homes during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war to return to areas in what is now Israel.

About 4.6 million Palestinian refugees are living outside their ancestral lands in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Gaza and the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
 
(Agencies)

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