Arab League Jerusalem Meeting Opens
Arab foreign ministers opened a two-day Arab League meeting in Cairo Sunday with the aim of throwing "unanimous" support behind Palestinian President Yasser Arafat's negotiations with Israel on Jerusalem.
"The city of Jerusalem is an Arab, Palestinian, Islamic and Christian city that lies at the heart of the Arab-Israeli conflict," League chief Esmat Abdel Meguid said in his opening address.
"It is a national (Arab) right guaranteed by international accords. There can be no bargaining or reduction or sharing," he told the gathering attended by Arafat who hopes to win east Jerusalem from Israel as the capital of a future Palestinian state.
Arafat, who was also due to address the opening session of the meeting, was on his seventh visit to Egypt since the US-sponsored Camp David summit ended July 25 without a peace deal, largely due to differences over Jerusalem.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Moussa said Saturday night that the meeting at the League's Cairo headquarters will "assert the unanimous Arab support for the Palestinian negotiations on Jerusalem and other matters.”
The Arabs are insisting on Palestinian sovereignty over the eastern sector of Jerusalem, the city which both the Israelis and Palestinians want as their internationally recognized capital.
Israel occupied east Jerusalem from Jordan in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, later annexed it and declared the whole of the holy city its eternal and indivisible capital.
The international community has never recognized any part of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel -- CAIRO (AFP)
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