Arafat Voices Support of Saudi CP's Statements
Palestinian President Yasser Arafat on Monday expressed his support to the statements by the Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdel Aziz published by The New York Times newspaper.
Arafat said such statements supported the peace efforts for establishing a just and ever-lasting peace in the region.
Speaking to the Palestinian news agency (WAFA), Arafat stressed the importance of a rapid international move to pressure the government of Israel into halting this "mad war against the Palestinian people and lift the sanctions imposed on the Palestinian territories and camps for the sake of creating the appropriate atmospheres before peace and stability to dominate.”
He said the Palestinian Authority supports the position of Saudi Arabia aimed at ending the Israeli occupation and settlement of Palestinian, Christian and Muslim shrines in Palestine and in the holy al-Aqsa mosque.
Prince Abdullah, in remarks to The New York Times published on Sunday, said Saudi Arabia favored Arab states normalizing ties with Israel if Israel carries out a full withdrawal from the territories it occupies.
"Full withdrawal from all the occupied territories, in accord with UN resolutions, including in Jerusalem, for full normalization of relations," Crown Prince Abdullah told Thomas Friedman.
Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler said he had written a speech along those lines to deliver before an Arab summit scheduled for March, but shelved it when Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon took a harsher stand against the Palestinians.
Asked whether he would be prepared to revive the proposal if Sharon and the Palestinians were to agree to a cease-fire before the summit, he responded, "Let me say to you that the speech is written, and it is still in my drawer."
Arafat Appeal to Spain
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat has appealed to Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar to intervene in order to put an end to Israeli air attacks on Palestinian territory, government officials said Monday, according to AFP.
Spain holds the rotating presidency of the European Union (EU) until the end of June 2002.
In a letter addressed to the Spanish Prime Minister during the weekend, Arafat stated that it was necessary to end Israel's settlement policy in the West Bank and Gaza Strip occupied by Israel since June 1967 and that UN resolutions concerning the conflict should be respected.
Arafat also appealed for, "the respect and recognition of the sovereignty and territorial integrity as well as the political independence of all the countries in the [Middle East] region, and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized borders, without being threatened by acts of force", the source said.
In the appeal to Aznar, Arafat further called for an end to the siege of three Palestinian towns by the Israeli army. (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)