The Arab foreign ministers effectively put an end on Monday to the debate over the so-called “deal of the century” proposal to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, by reiterating their commitment to the two-state solution.
The two-state solution is the only way to end the conflict, they declared during an emergency meeting in Cairo.
Former US President Donald Trump had unveiled the “deal of the century” peace proposal in January 2020. It was vehemently rejected by the Palestinians because it was largely biased towards Israel and dashed their hopes for an independent state with east Jerusalem as its capital.
The ten foreign ministers who met in the Egyptian capital welcomed the international and regional efforts aimed at pushing forward peace efforts, underlining the important role played by the US.
They stressed the need for these efforts to “end the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories occupied in 1967 and achieving peace based on the two-state solution.”
Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit said the final settlement to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict can only be reached through the two-state solution. He said no alternatives that can provide the Palestinians with their own state and Israelis with security were available.
He added that the international consensus over the two-state solution should be translated into action that would save this proposal from constant Israeli attempts to undermine it.
Indirectly referring to Trump’s peace plan, Aboul Gheit remarked: “Experience over the years demonstrated that the political settlement cannot be imposed by unilateral proposals.”
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah stressed that the Kingdom’s position “is firm in standing by the Palestinian people and supporting all efforts aimed at reaching just and comprehensive peace.”
“Peace is the strategic choice that guarantees the stability of the region,” he stressed.
“We call on the international community to exert more efforts to revive the peace process that would establish a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders and with east Jerusalem as its capital,” he urged.
On Yemen, he condemned the threat posed by the Iran-backed Houthi militias to the security and stability of the war-torn country. He also slammed its repeated rocket and drone attacks against civilian locations and facilities in Saudi Arabia.
Moreover, Prince Faisal demanded that the countries most affected by Iranian threats be main parties in any international negotiations with the Iranian regime over its nuclear program and malign activities in the region.
He warned: “The gravest threats to the Arab region are the Iranian regime’s constant violations of international laws, treaties and norms that violate the security and stability of our countries.”
He cited Tehran’s interference in the affairs of Arab countries and support to armed militias that spread chaos and sow divisions.
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said: “The state of Palestine is committed to the Arab peace initiative.”
He hoped that the administration of US President Joe Biden’s approach to the conflict would reflect a “deeper historical and geographic understanding” of the region and its politics.
He added that the Palestinians were ready to join “serious negotiations through an international conference that would be based on international laws.” The conference should be led by the international quartet and aim to end the Israeli occupation and grant the Palestinians their freedom and independence.