Member-countries of the Arab League said that until Israel makes peace with the Palestinians, they will break off relations with any state that recognizes Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, reported the BBC.online.
In their statement at the end of a two-day meeting held in Cairo, Arab foreign ministers reaffirmed that they were committed to peace but were supporting Palestinian President Yasser Arafat's position that peace could only be sealed when Israel agreed to Palestinian sovereignty over east Jerusalem, said the BBC.
The status of the city was the main stumbling block in the latest round of Palestinian-Israeli peace talks held under US mediation at Camp David in July.
There has been a flurry of diplomatic activity aimed at reviving the talks ahead of September 13th, the deadline set by the Palestinians and Israel to solve all outstanding disputes, said the BBC.
Arafat told Arab foreign ministers on Sunday that Palestinians "will not accept a settlement at any cost," adding that an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital was the least his people could accept in a peace deal with Israel, reported Reuters.
"The city of Jerusalem is at the core of the conflict and is the key to peace in the region," the statement said, adding that UN resolutions made Israeli measures there "invalid and void."
"The Arab nation is still absolutely keen to realize peace according to (Security Council) resolution 242 which affirms that seizing the land of others by force is unacceptable," it said, calling on permanent members of the Security Council to recognize a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, Reuters said.
Reuters said that the ministers agreed on Sunday that they should all meet again in October and diplomatic sources said they had agreed in principle to call for an Arab summit in January - (Several Sources)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com )