Arab League Urges Greater UN Role in Middle East Peace Process
The Arab League pressed the United Nations on Tuesday to play a greater role in the Middle East peace process after an emergency summit agreed on ending Israeli-Palestinian clashes that have raged for nearly three weeks.
League Secretary General, Esmat Abdel Meguid, demanded that Israel live up to its side of agreements made at the summit in Egypt's Sharm el-Sheikh resort and create an atmosphere conducive to peace.
The summit "is the beginning of a stage which requires the efforts of all sides, especially the United Nations, and a close eye must be kept on the tense situation in the occupied territories," he told reporters.
He said the participation of UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and the European Union at the Sharm el-Sheikh summit had been "useful."
Abdel Meguid called on Israel "to implement and stick to what was agreed on at the Sharm el-Sheikh summit and create an atmosphere which will allow the peace process to resume on the basis of achieving stability and guaranteeing the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people and their right to establish an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital."
The summit's three-point deal required Israel and the Palestinians to work for an immediate end to the current wave of violence that has killed more than 110 people in the past 20 days.
The two sides also agreed to a probe into the causes of the violence, and a revival of the seven-year-old Israeli-Palestinian peace process, US President Bill Clinton said at the end of the summit.
Abdel Meguid was speaking after talks with British minister of state for foreign affairs Peter Hain in Cairo.
Hain said the Sharm el-Sheikh summit was an encouraging step and called for security and stability in the region to prevail as soon as possible – CAIRO (AFP)
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