Abbas urges Obama to adopt Arab peace plan
Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas on Saturday called on US president-elect Barack Obama to apply himself to the Middle East peace process as soon as he takes office on January 20. "Ending the occupation and creating an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital are the key to security, peace and stability in the region, and we turn towards the new administration headed by Barack Obama," Abbas said.
According to AFP, he was speaking to more than 200 foreign businessmen in the northern West Bank city of Nablus at a conference on investment in the Palestinian territories. "We urge him to immediately apply himself to the peace process, on the basis of implementing international resolutions linked to the Palestinian question, including the Arab plan," he conveyed.
"For six years we have talked about the Arab initiative which can be summed up thus: withdraw from Palestine, the (occupied Syrian) Golan Heights and the Shebaa farms (on the Lebanon-Syria-Israeli border) and 57 Arab and Islamic states will recognise you," Abbas said, addressing the Israelis.
"What more do you want? Instead of living in an island of peace you will live in an ocean of peace."
The Saudi-inspired peace plan was presented at an Arab summit in Beirut in 2002 and relaunched at a Riyadh summit in 2007. It calls for a full normalisation of relations between Arab states and Israel in exchange for a full withdrawal by Israel from Arab land it has occupied since 1967, the creation of a Palestinian state with its capital in east Jerusalem and an "equitable" solution for Palestinian refugees.