Lebanon to Call for Total Cut in Links with Israel at Arab Summit
Lebanon will call on fellow Arab states at their Cairo summit to cut all diplomatic and economic ties with Israel in retaliation for its killings of Palestinian demonstrators, Prime Minister Salim Hoss said Wednesday.
"I am carrying a document which calls for tough measures to be taken against Israel," Hoss told reporters, before heading for preparatory meetings in Egypt's capital for the October 21-22 summit.
"Among the measures which we deem necessary are a freeze to any normalization, a break in diplomatic and economic relations, and a return to the boycott of Israel until an overall and just peace on all tracks," he said.
"Otherwise these tracks (of Arab-Israeli peace negotiations) will remain unresolved indefinitely," said Hoss, who also holds the post of foreign minister.
In contrast, Jordan, which is one of only two Arab states to have made peace with Israel, called Wednesday for a "realistic" approach and stressed the main aim of the summit was to throw the weight of the Arab world behind the Palestinians.
The purpose of the Sharm el-Sheikh summit in Egypt that called an Israeli-Palestinian truce on Tuesday was to lift the Jewish state's blockade of Palestinian areas, said Information Minister Taleb Rifai.
And the Arab summit will "aim to mobilize Arab support for the Palestinians and send out a clear message," he told a press conference.
But Rifai appeared to rule out a break in ties with Israel, saying "the Arab summit will examine in a realistic way the different points of view that could serve the interests of the Palestinians".
The Jordanian government "makes its decisions at the appropriate time to reach its objectives and serve the Palestinian cause," he said, questioned on the calls of demonstrators in Amman and MPs for the closure of Israel's embassy.
Jordan, which has a large Palestinian population of its own, has protested over Israel's use of deadly force against the Palestinians and indefinitely delayed sending a new ambassador to Tel Aviv. The appointment was made in August – BEIRUT (AFP)
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