Arab initiative quickest way to normalization ties with Israel: Saudi FM


Without Israel’s pullout from the occupied Arab territories, there can be neither peace nor normalization of relations, Al-Faisal said in a joint press conference Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa after a meeting by the committee on the initiative.

The Saudi minister voiced optimism about positive response of the international public opinion towards the Arab peace initiative.

However, the positions of governments of leading world players are not equivalent to international public opinion which is almost unanimous on the initiative, he regretted, asserting the need to further promote the initiative and lobby support for it.

The initiative represents the framework of the Arab political joint action but should be preceded by direct bilateral peace talks between the concerned Arab countries and Israel.

When bilateral peace deals are reached the initiative takes force, he noted.
Asked about the existence of a potential peace partner in Israel, Al-Faisal said there were reports that the current Israeli government was too weak to strike peace deals with Arab countries while other reports indicated that it can do so.

He voiced hope that a moderate government in Israel would be able to carry the initiative forward.

The Saudi minister refuted press reports that his country made contacts with Israel recently.

As a current president of the Arab summit, Saudi Arabia is making joint efforts with other Arab countries to implement the initiative, he pointed out.
For his part, Moussa said Egypt and Jordan as the only Arab countries having diplomatic relations with Israel were charged by the committee on the initiative to convince Israel of the initiative and of the need to seize the current historical opportunity to re-launch the peace process.
"When Israel stops hostile moves against the Palestinian people, lifts the economic embargo and stops settlement activity and excavations in Jerusalem, an expanded Arab team can be formed to contact the Israeli government on peaceful settlement within a specific time frame," he pointed out.

"There can not be a free normalization of relations with Israel," the Arab League chief underscored.

The Arab foreign ministers are scheduled to hold an emergency meeting in early June to review the achievements of Egyptian and Jordanian contacts with Israel, he added.

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