Qatari FM urges Arab states to start talks with Israel
Arab states should make a gesture toward Israel after its pullout from Gaza Strip, Qatar's foreign minister said.
Hailing the Israeli withdrawal, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor Al Thani stated Arab nations should respond. "I salute this step by Israel," he said in a speech Wednesday at the New York-based Council on Foreign Relations. "But it is very important that there be a clear vision after this step."
"Arab countries must take a step toward Israel through an international meeting or a meeting between Arab states and Israel and the co-sponsors of peace, particularly the United States, in an attempt to come up with a clear vision to the period after Gaza," he said, according to The AP.
Sheikh Hamad noted the Gaza pullout could bring normalization of relations with Israel to prominence, but he acknowledged the issue remains "controversial" in the Arab and the Islamic worlds. "Let them talk together," said Sheikh Hamad. "If we have to talk to them (the Israelis) it doesn't mean we accept all what they say, but they are part of the United Nations."