League chief says no changes to Arab peace initiative

US Secretary of State John Kerry meets with top Arab League officials in Washington, DC, on April 29, 2013.

CAIRO (Ma’an) — No amendments have been made to the Arab peace initiative proposed in 2002, Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby said Sunday.

A delegation from the Arab League visited Washington in late April to discuss the Arab peace initiative with US Secretary of State John Kerry, but no amendments to the proposal were made, Elaraby said.

“The delegation went to Washington to negotiate the initiative, not change it,” he said.

Following the discussions with Kerry and US Vice President Joe Biden, Qatari Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim, who headed the delegation, said that he backed Obama’s proposals for a “comparable and mutual agreed minor swap of the land” between Israelis and Palestinians.

Israel’s lead peace negotiator Tzipi Livni praised the “important” concession, but top PLO official Saeb Erekat said minor agreed border modifications were already part of the Palestinian position.

The Arab peace initiative was proposed by then Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah at the Arab League Summit in Beirut in 2002, and called for comprehensive peace and fully normalized relations between Israel and all 22 Arab states in return for Israel’s withdrawal from all occupied Arab territories.

The initiative includes the possibility for reciprocal and equal border modifications if agreed upon by both parties. It also calls for a just and agreed upon solution to the Palestinian refugee question.

Israel has never accepted the proposal.

(Source / 12.05.2013)

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