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Arab Foreign Ministers Call on Quartet to Salvage Peace

Arab Foreign Ministers Call on Quartet to Salvage Peace

Friday, 1 May, 2020 - 05:45
A handout picture provided by the Arab League on April 30, 2020, shows Arab League Chief Ahmed Aboul Gheit chairing an urgent virtual meeting, in the Egyptian capital Cairo, to discuss how to galvanize opposition to Israeli plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank. (Photo by Arab League / AFP)

Arab foreign ministers called Thursday on the International Quartet to hold an urgent meeting to save peace chances and the two-state solution, and to take international action consistent with UN resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative.

In the final communique released following an emergency meeting held through video conference to discuss Israel's plans to annex parts of the West Bank, the Arab foreign ministers urged the Israeli occupation government to stop implementing its colonial plans.

“Israel's plan to annex any part of the Palestinian territory occupied in 1967, including the Jordan Valley, the northern Dead Sea, and the Israeli settlements and their surroundings, is considered a war crime,” they said.

The ministers stressed that the Arab countries will support, by all political, diplomatic, legal and financial means, any decisions or steps taken by the State of Palestine to confront Israeli plans of annexation and colonial settlement expansion.

They also demanded the US administration to abide by the United Nations Charter and resolutions, and the principles and provisions of international law.

The ministers urged the United States to refrain from supporting the plans and maps of the Israeli occupation government that are being prepared under the cover of the so-called American-Israeli deal of the century that aims to annex and occupy occupied Palestinian lands by force.

The final statement called on member states to make direct financial contributions to the budget of the State of Palestine and the Arab Financial Safety Net, in compliance with the decisions of successive Arab summits.

The Arab foreign ministers stressed that a comprehensive and just peace based on international law, international legitimacy decisions and the Arab Peace Initiative, is an Arab strategic choice, and a necessity for regional and international security and peace.

“We urge the international community and the United Nations, including the Security Council, to take responsibility for maintaining international peace and security, ensuring the enforcement of international law and international legitimacy decisions in the occupied Palestinian territory, and preventing the Israeli occupation government from implementing the annexation plans,” the ministers said.

They have also called on European Union countries to exert pressure on the occupation government to stop its plans, and to urgently recognize the State of Palestine on the 1967 borders, in order to salvage the two-state solution.

The Arab ministers agreed to call on the World Health Organization and the International Committee of the Red Cross to exert pressure on the Occupation authorities to release Palestinian refugees.

During the meeting, Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit said that any Israeli decision to annex parts of the West Bank would not change the status of these lands, which will remain “occupied territories in accordance with international law.”

He said the purpose of Thursday’s meeting was to warn about the “dangers of the Israeli schemes to annex parts of the West Bank and the possible repercussions on regional stability.”

Aboul Gheit accused the Israeli government of exploiting the preoccupation of the world with the coronavirus pandemic to establish new facts on the ground.

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