Arab foreign minsters conclude meeting on Jerusalem
A delegation of Arab foreign ministers and the chief of the Arab League in Saturday held a series of meetings in Amman in Saturday to discuss the adverse repercussions of the U.S. administration’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and move the U.S. embassy to the holy city.
The delegation, which was formed by the Arab League at the ministerial level in its extraordinary session last month and was called for by Jordan and Palestine, includes the foreign ministers of Jordan, Egypt, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Arab League Secretary-General, Ahmed Aboul Gheit.
The meetings, chaired by Minister of Foreign and Expatriate Affairs, Ayman Safadi, discussed the best ways to address the repercussions of the U.S. decision, which contravenes the resolutions of international legitimacy, and stressed the need to intensify efforts for a political solution to end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and establish an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.
The meeting included the foreign ministers of Egypt, Sameh Shukri, Palestine, Riyad Al Malki, Saudi Arabia, Adel Al Jubeir and Morocco, Nasser Bourita as well as UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Anwar Gargash, and Arab League Secretary-General Ahmad Aboul Gheit.
Minister Safadi told a joint press conference with Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit that the 8221 resolution came in implementation of the ministerial council meeting held recently in Cairo.
He added that King Abdullah, during his meeting with the delegation members, emphasized on the centrality of Jerusalem as a fundamental issue for Arabs, Muslims and Christians, and that it is the key to peace in the region, and that there will be no stability and security in the region without a solution that guarantees the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on pre-June 4, 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.
Safadi said the meeting is a consultative coordination one, and that the committee is a working group that came to consider how to implement the mandate of the Arab foreign ministers in the Arab League, to form a delegation to work with the international community and international institutions to limit the negative consequences of the U.S decision and highlight its danger in the light of the national, historical and religious status of Jerusalem to Muslims and Christians throughout the Arab and Islamic worlds.
He said the committee would work with the international community to launch an effective and systematic effort to pressure Israel to abide by the resolutions of international legitimacy and stop all unilateral steps, aimed at imposing new facts on the ground, especially building settlements, confiscating lands, emptying Jerusalem of its Muslim and Christian Arab residents and work with the international community to find a solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Safadi said: “Our position as an Arab League and Arab countries regarding this resolution is clear, that it constitutes a violation of international law and legitimacy and has no legal effect. Arab countries will work in this regard. This is a clear and unanimous stance for Arab states that Jerusalem is an Arab, Islamic and Christian priority, and this is the aim of the meeting today and we came to study how to implement the mandate.”
He added: “Since the adoption of the U.S. decision and the meeting of the Arab League, we have all been engaged individually and in contacts with the international community, to limit the he negative repercussions the decision poses.”
“The meeting was an opportunity for us to evaluate the results of the contacts made by the ministers in the committee and to draw conclusions about this and to continue to engage with the international community through various mechanisms, both collective and individual meetings, in order to achieve our clear mission of maintaining work and communication with the international community, and to highlight our specific demands, the first of which is to obtain a global international political decision to recognize the Palestinian state on the pre-June 4, 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital,” Safadi noted.
Furthermore, he added: “We will continue to take legal and political measures to reduce the consequences of the decision, demonstrate its seriousness and confront all illegal Israeli measures on the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem.”
He pointed out that the Israeli Knesset’s decision to change the Basic Law, which makes the negotiation on Jerusalem conditional by two thirds of the Knesset members, is unacceptable “as we do not recognize any Israeli decision on Jerusalem because it is an occupied territory under international law.”
He also referred to Israel ruling party’s decision to impose Israeli sovereignty over the West Bank and settlements, saying: “this is what we reject and confirm that it represents a violation of all international laws and conventions.”
“We will also work to maintain contact with the international community towards launching a serious and speedy international effort to end the occupation and establish an independent and sovereign Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. We will work together to limit any other country’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and moving of their embassies to the city,” the foreign minister added.
The committee will continue to support the legitimate right of the State of Palestine to consolidate its position on the international map, including joining international organizations, institutions and covenants, and to continue the declared and clear Arab position in supporting of the Palestinian leadership as the only legitimate representative of the Palestinian people,” according to Safadi.
“The Arab Group affirms its solid position to uphold peace as a strategic choice for all Arab countries. We want peace that is just, comprehensive and acceptable to the people and meets the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, based on their right to freedom and an independent state on their national soil,” the minister stressed.
Responding to journalists’ questions, Safadi stressed that the Arab decision is clear, which is to continue to act in support of the Palestinian people and to mobilize for peaceful action to be adopted at all levels.
He pointed out that holding an extraordinary Arab summit in Jordan is up to the Arab ministerial council at its next meeting in light of the assessment of the steps taken.
“We are working in an ascending framework that ensures that each step achieves its intended purpose,” he said.
He added: “We are in a long-term political process and an escalating political movement, and we agree to maintain a stable, clear and consistent Arab position in all the steps required.”
Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit referred to Arab efforts that followed the U.S. decision in the UN Security Council and at the level of the UN General Assembly.
He noted that the next stage of Arab action will focus on dealing with these gaps.
On finding an alternative sponsor of the peace process, Aboul Gheit said the recent decision of the Arab ministerial council affirmed that the United States, by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of the occupying state, has placed itself outside the framework of the settlement.
On the Palestinian position that was parallel to the Arab ministerial decision, and options for peace, the Arab League Secretary-General reiterated that there were no options but to uphold the strategic framework of the peace process. In this context, the meeting discussed the strategic role of the United States and the vision of other international parties involved in the peace process, including the United Nations, the Quartet, the European Union, as well as the Russian, Chinese and French role and others.
Source: Jordan News Agency