Arab foreign ministers rejected Israeli schemes to unilaterally demarcate its borders, saying such a step would make the establishment of an independent Palestinian state impossible. Ministers have decided "to reject partial solutions and unilateral Israeli measures including... the unilateral demarcation of Israel's borders," according to a final draft resolution agreed at a preparatory meeting for a two-day Arab summit opening Tuesday.
"This fulfills Israel's expansionist greed and renders impossible (all plans) to establish a sovereign and independent Palestinian state," said a copy, which was cited by AFP.
On Sunday, Israel's Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said in an interview broadcast Sunday that if elected, his government would conduct "internal negotiations" within Israel, followed by talks with Washington and the international community to cement support for permanent borders, before initiating a future withdrawal from the West Bank.
"We want to set the permanent borders of Israel, and to do so, we must separate from the Palestinians," he told Israel Radio. "In order to separate from the Palestinians, we must define for ourselves our red lines."
For their part, the Arab ministers called on the international Middle East diplomatic quartet to "stress that any unilateral move should be within the attempts to reach comprehensive and just peace in the Middle East, based on the (2002) Arab peace initiative and the roadmap."