Agenda For Arab Summit Settled As Sharon Reiterates His Wish to Participate
Arab foreign ministers settled the agenda for this week’s Arab summit expected to back Saudi proposals for making peace with Israel.
Arab diplomats said about 50 draft resolutions were listed, dealing in particular with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as well as US threats against Iraq and Baghdad's relations with neighboring Kuwait.
Arab ministers devoted two informal sessions to the initiative of Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz offering what one official called a "collective peace treaty" with Israel in exchange for the return of Arab lands occupied since the 1967 war.
But, according to AFP, Lebanese President Emile Lahoud, the summit host, rejected any settlement that would prevent the return of some 3.7 million Palestinian refugees to the homes they fled on the creation of Israel in 1948
In exchange for an Israeli withdrawal from east Jerusalem, the Palestinian territories and Syrian and Lebanese land, the Arab states are offering an end to hostilities with Israel, guaranteeing its existence amid normal peaceful relations, the level of which would be decided by each country, an official said.
Talks were continuing late Monday to agree on the final wording of the proposals which the Saudi prince will put to the summit.
Meanwhile in Tel Aviv, Israel’s Prime Minister Ariel Sharon proposed Monday evening his three-stage plan for ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and repeated his offer to share it with Arab leaders at their summit meeting in Beirut this week.
The first stage, said Sharon, would be an end to hostilities and “terror” attacks, followed by a lengthy interim period. The final stage would be a full peace agreement and a declaration that the conflict was at an end. (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)