According to a report released on April 30,2013, the Arab League countries have collectively agreed to accept an arrangement which would allow Israelis and Palestinians to go ahead with land swaps to resolve their differences. This will be a marked departure from the current mindset of strictly sticking to the pre-1967-war positions. The 22-nation Arab League agreed to the land swap proposal following a meeting with US Secretary of State Mr. John Kerry in Washington, USA.
The Arab League delegation affirmed that the agreement should be based on the two-state solution on the basis of the 1967 line, with the possibility of “comparable and mutually agreed swap of land”. The talks came after a series of productive conversations between Mr. Kerry and the two warring sides regarding how best to move the regional peace efforts forward.
The Israeli establishment seemed elated by the development. The country’s Justice Minister Ms. Tzipi Livni termed the news as very positive, describing the Arab States’ efforts to expedite a reconciliation as a laudable step, one that would help normalise relations between Israel and Palestine besides bringing peace back to the volatile region.
According to political analysts, the perceptible shift in the position of the Arab League seems to have reflected the tacit approval of the Palestinian Authority (PA). The Foreign Minister of the PA, Mr. Riyad al-Maliki, was present at the Arab League’s meeting with the US Secretary of State. The Foreign Ministers of Egypt, Bahrain, Jordan and Qatar also participated at the talks along with officials from Lebanon and Saudi Arabia. Mr. Jo Biden, the US Vice-President, also attended the meeting.
In its original form, however, the Arab League’s proposal said that the League would accord full recognition to the Israeli state only if it gave up land captured during the 1967 war and accepted a “just solution” for Palestinian refugees. This proposal had been first made at the 2002 Arab League Summit held in Beirut. Israel, on expected lines, had summarily rejected the plan.
Before the latest land swap arrangement was reached, the Israel-Palestine stand-off seemed headed for an eternal run. Israel still has several objections which include the return to the pre-1967 borders; the return of Palestinian refugees displaced in earlier wars, and the inclusion of East Jerusalem in a future Palestinian state.
★ The Arab League countries have agreed to accept an arrangement which will allow Israelis and Palestinians to go ahead with land swaps to resolve their differences.
★ This will be a marked departure from the current mindset of strictly sticking to the pre-1967-war positions.
★ The Arab League delegation affirmed that the agreement should be based on the two-state solution on the basis of the 1967 line.
★ The perceptible shift in the position of the Arab League seems to have reflected the tacit approval of the Palestinian Authority (PA).
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