Arab nations revive Saudi Peace Plan

Thursday, March 29, 2007 |  by Staff Writer
In an attempt to bring peace to the Middle East, Arab leaders met in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday and unanimously decided to revive a five-year-old plan for peace with Israel.

The Saudi Peace Plan that was formulated by Saudi King Abdullah in 2002 was adopted by the Arab League on the first day of their summit in the Saudi capital of Riyadh.

The plan calls for a “normalization” of relations with Israel who is to withdraw to its 1967 borders. It also allows for the formation of a Palestinian state and the return of Palestinian refugees.

The Arab leaders released a statement saying they “reaffirm their call to the government of Israel and all Israelis to accept the Arab peace initiative and seize the opportunity to resume the process of direct and serious negotiations on all tracks.”

European leaders are also taking part in the Saudi summit, including EU Foreign Policy Chief Javier Solana.

Meanwhile, in response to the Saudi initiative, Defense Minister Amir Peretz said Israel should propose its own peace plan.

“We must show courage and be willing to negotiate a permanent agreement,” the defense minister said. “This will completely change the rules of the game and offer the Palestinians a political horizon which will neutralize extremist Arab figures, it will allow moderates to unite and reach an understanding with Israel. We must not forget that they have an interest to keep radical forces from leading the Arab world.”

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