Arab ministers: EU, AL share same position on Mideast Peace Process

A number of Arab foreign ministers expressed their satisfaction over the outcome of a ministerial-level meeting on Monday between the Arab League and the European Union which focused on ways to revive the Middle East Peace Process.

“The meeting underlined the convergence of the views of the EU and the Arab countries on the importance of the continuation of efforts to achieve peace in the Middle East within the agreed international framework towards a final solution,” Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shourky told a group of Arab journalists after the meeting this evening.

He noted that Jerusalem is a pivotal issue not only for the Arab and Muslim world, but for the whole international community. There are international resolutions on the status of Jerusalem which prohibit any recognition of Jerusalem that changes the legal position of Jerusalem, he added.

Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs Riyad Al-Maliki said that the Palestinian people are ready for negotiations but on a totally different basis and stressed that “we will not return to the past situation where the US dominated the peace process.” “We, the EU and the Arab League must work together for a solution based on two-states and there is big convergence of position on this,” he said.

“We must send a strong signal from this meeting to the US administration that it must take into consideration a number of issues before presenting any possible plans. like the recognition of East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestine state, 1967 borders, stop to settlements ,” said Al Maliki.

He warned that if the US does not take these issues into consideration, nobody will accept any US initiatives.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al Jubeir also said that the position of the EU and the Arab League were similar regarding the peace and process and added that the two sides will continue their efforts to revive the peace process.

Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, who chairs the Arab League Committee on Jerusalem, said the Arab position on Jerusalem is clear that East Jerusalem is the capital of a Palestinian state, and added that the final status of Jerusalem should be decided through direct negotiations based on international legality.

“We are worried about the situation in Jerusalem,” he said referring to the decision by the heads of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, considered the holiest site in Christianity, to shut its doors Sunday to protest against a new tax and a Israeli legislation that will allow the government to confiscate lands sold by the church.

The Israeli step threatens the existence of Christianity in Jerusalem, the Arab existence in Jerusalem and the Arab-Muslim-Christian identity, he warned.

“Our meeting with the EU is a proof that we all agree on the Arab strategic choice for peace but to achieve this the Palestinians must have their own state with East Jerusalem as its capital,” he added.

Source: Kuwait News Agency