USC Students for Justice in Palestine

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BBC: Arab leaders relaunch peace plan

Posted by uscsjp on March 28, 2007

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah (right) greets Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas on 27 March 2007

The summit brings together top leaders from Arab states

Arab leaders holding a summit in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, have urged Israel to accept an Arab peace initiative first proposed in 2002. Under the plan, Arab nations would recognise Israel if Israel withdrew from land occupied in the 1967 war.

The plan allows for the creation of a Palestinian state and the return of Palestinian refugees.

Five years ago Israel rejected the plan but now the Israelis are reacting more positively to it, correspondents say.

Urging Israel not to immediately ask for amendments to the plan as it had five years ago, Arab League head Amr Moussa said the Middle East was at a crossroads.

“It is either we move towards a real peace or see an escalation in the situation,” he told Arab League leaders in Riyadh…

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and the European Union’s foreign policy chief Javier Solana are also attending.

Mr Ban told the summit that “the Arab peace initiative is one of the pillars of the peace process… [it] sends a signal that the Arabs are serious about achieving peace.”

Correspondents say no-one expects any breakthroughs, but the fact that Saudi Arabia, the regional powerhouse, is being so pro-active means this will be one of the most scrutinised Arab League summits. (continued)

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