No alternative to restoring East Jerusalem
Egypt-Palestine, Politics, 10/20/2000
Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak will address the Arab Summit, which will open in Cairo tomorrow to probe the Palestinian cause.
Mubarak's address will focus on the developments of Palestinian cause, the outcome of Sharm El-Sheikh Summit and the Israeli practices against the Palestinian people.
Palestinian Leader Yasser Arafat, Arab League Secretary General Esmat Abdul Maguid and a number of Arab leaders will address the inaugural session.
Arab Foreign Ministers, at the close of their meetings in Cairo yesterday, approved the draft final communique of Arab Summit. The draft final communique will be sent to the Arab leaders, during the Summit which will open on Saturday.
Foreign Minister Amr Moussa Thursday said the extraordinary Arab Summit on Saturday is required to muster all Arab energies at all levels to support the Palestinians, Syrians, and Lebanese within the context of an "honest" and "active" peace process.
Addressing the inaugural session of the Arab Foreign Ministers preparatory meetings for the emergency pan-Arab Summit on Thursday, Moussa said that the bloody events in the occupied Arab countries and the areas surrounding necessitated the ministerial meetings that would have convened anyway as scheduled to tackle the periodical convocation of the pan-Arab Summit.
Moussa reiterated that peace is the strategic option of the Arab states, but this peace is based on rights and justice.
"Taking such bases in consideration, the Arab governments are ready to undertake their full responsibility to retrieve the lands and rights, make peace and achieve security," said Moussa.
"It is axiomatic that peace means retrieving all occupied Arab lands in Syria, Lebanon and Palestine, including east Jerusalem, the capital of the to-be Palestinian state," he added.
Moussa criticized using Al-Haram Al-Sharif, with all its sanctities, as an area where the Israelis are flexing their muscles, playing politics, and killing tens of Palestinians.
Moussa underlined that Al-Haram Al-Sharif is an Arab property and that it will be impossible to put it under any other authority rather than the Palestinian, according to UN resolutions 242 and 338.
"This irrevocable Arab position is the safety basis that could not be spared for the Palestinian leadership in its negotiations battle with the Israeli side," said Moussa.
Moussa said another objective for the summit is to rebuild Arab relations to go in line with the change in the international and regional climate to live up to the challenges ahead.
"There is no other way. This is why Arabs reached a definite vision to modernize their cooperation mechanisms and dwell on Arab economic integration," he said.
Moussa pointed out that this is the logical and political foundation to hold the Arab summit periodically.
Moreover, Moussa Thursday said that Arab foreign ministers discussed during their meetings Arab-Israeli relations.
Asked whether the summit will look into more than one draft communique, Moussa said Arab ministers will agree on one draft statement and another draft for the resolutions which will be submitted to the summit.
On the Arab stance towards Israeli acts against the Palestinians, Moussa said this is what the Arab summit will discuss.
"The mechanism approved by the foreign ministers on the regular convocation of Arab summits calls for integrating the relevant appendix into the charter of the Arab League," he expounded, adding that the formula also opens the door for holding extraordinary Arab conferences in cases pertaining to Arab security.
In the later case, one of the pan-Arab organization's member states or the secretary-general should present a relevant request which should be approved by two-thirds of the members. Extraordinary summits could be held at places other than the headquarters of the Arab League with the consent of the member states.
Moussa said that Arab foreign ministers had agreed on all items on the agenda but would not be final unless approved by Arab leaders during their summit that begins Saturday.
He added that the key items on the agenda were the peace process and the regular convocation of Arab summits "which will be held from now annually." The minister, however, declined to give more details.
Moussa said that the aim of the summit held in the Egyptian Red Sea town of Sharm El-Sheikh earlier this week was to stem deterioration in the Palestinian land. "Should this deterioration not be halted, the summit would deal with this," he added.
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