Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Important summary of the Arab League - Israeli peace talks

Here is a quick summary of how the talks went.

The Associated Press
July 25, 2007

JERUSALEM: The Egyptian and Jordanian foreign ministers met Israeli leaders Wednesday to discuss an Arab League peace plan, originally presented in 2002 and recently revived. Here are the main points and Israel's responses:

_ Arab League: Israel must withdraw from all the territories it captured in 1967 war — the West Bank, Golan Heights and east Jerusalem (Israel pulled out of the Gaza Strip in 2005).

Israel: Insists on border adjustments to reflect its security needs and Jewish settlement blocs in the West Bank. Opposes division of Jerusalem. Peace talks with Syria broke down in 2000 though Israel offered withdrawal from the Golan to the international boundary.

_ Arab League: In return for total withdrawal, Israel would receive "full normalization" of relations with all Arab states.

Israel: Welcomes peaceful relations with Arab states but insists on formal peace treaties with its neighbors.

_ Arab League: An "agreed solution" to the Palestinian refugee issue would be negotiated, based on U.N. General Assembly Resolution 191.

Israel: Fears that the reference to the U.N. resolution is a code for the "right of return," the long-standing Palestinian demand that the 700,000 refugees from the 1948-49 war that followed Israel's creation, and their 3 million descendants, have the right to reclaim their original homes in Israel, flooding the Jewish state with Arabs. Israel believes refugees should receive compensation and be resettled where they are now or in the new Palestinian state.

_ Arab League: An independent Palestinian state should be created with east Jerusalem as its capital.

Israel: Accepts creation of a Palestinian state but opposes handing over any part of Jerusalem. A past government offered to cede Arab sections of the city to the new state, but talks broke down.

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