Arab League Chief: Palestinian cause is key to peace, there is no future for any plan that ignores it

“I am deeply concerned about the decline in interest in the Palestinian issue in the list of priorities of the world’s countries, in light of the great pressures and the emergence of new problems”: Secretary-General of the League of Arab States

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CAIRO: Secretary-General of the League of Arab States Ahmed Aboul Gheit has said that “a solution to the Palestinian issue is the only key to establishing peace and lasting cooperation in the Middle East.”

Speaking at a session on the future of the Middle East at the Ninth Baku International Forum this week, Aboul Gheit said that such a solution requires Israel to commit to honoring “relevant international resolutions, to return to the June 4, 1967, lines, and to recognize East Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian state.”

He stressed that the framework of any regional cooperation will remain “fragile and flammable” if it does not fully respect the rights of the Palestinian people.

“I am deeply concerned about the decline in interest in the Palestinian issue in the list of priorities of the world’s countries, in light of the great pressures and the emergence of new problems,” he added.

Speaking to an audience that included former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, Aboul Gheit said, “There can be no prosperous future for the Middle East while neglecting or ignoring the rights of the Palestinians.”

He added: “It is impossible to accept the scenario of one Israeli state with two nations —the Palestinian and Israeli peoples. Any plans that ignore the Palestinian people or imagine their elimination are impossible. My advice to the Israelis is to settle the issue now.” A group of experts in counterterrorism on Sunday began a three-day extraordinary session to look at further advancing initiatives to prevent attacks by terror organizations and individuals.

The meeting, being held at the Cairo headquarters of the General Secretariat of the Arab League and chaired by group leader Ahmed Al-Zahrani, involved specialists from member states’ justice, interior, defense, and foreign affairs ministries, along with the General Secretariat of the Council of Arab Interior Ministers.

Minister plenipotentiary, Yasser Abdel Moneim, the director of the Arab League’s legal affairs department responsible for the technical secretariat of the Council of Arab Justice Ministers, said: “The meeting will discuss ways to activate the development of the team’s work in line with the new challenges in the field of combating terrorism.”

Speaking on the sidelines of the meeting, he added that the experts’ gathering was a follow-up to their last round of discussions in February that produced a set of recommendations adopted by the league’s foreign ministers in March.

Abdel Moneim noted that a number of proposals on countering terrorism had been put forward by countries including Kuwait, Jordan, Lebanon, and Egypt. The group of experts is a permanent body established to deal with issues of combating and preventing terrorism in the Arab world.

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