With new backing from Washington, the Arab League on Monday re-launched its Arab-Israel peace initiative, following day long meetings with Secretary of State John Kerry at Blair House.
Analysts said Washington’s embrace of the initiative could make way for a Madrid-like process of Arab-Israeli discussions to occur in parallel to Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.
“The Arab League delegation affirmed that agreement should be based on the two-state solution on the basis of the 4th of June 1967 line, with the possible of comparable and mutual agreed minor swap of the land,” Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr Al Thani said at a news conference with Kerry Monday night.
“On behalf of the President of the United States, I underscored the Arab League’s very important role… in bringing about a peace to the Middle East and specifically by reaffirming the Arab Peace Initiative here this afternoon with a view to ending the conflict,” Kerry said.
Israeli peace negotiator Tzipi Livni welcomed the initiative, which Al-Monitor reported earlier this month was expected to be rolled out anew at the April 29 meeting.
“Even during a period of ups and downs in the Arab world, they must achieve normalization with Israel when we achieve peace with the Palestinians,” Livni said. “It’s true that there is still a long way to go, and we can’t accept all the clauses [in the Arab initiative] as holy writ, but sometimes you need to look up over the difficulties and just say good news is welcome.”
Kerry “has on his desk a proposal to replace the bilateral negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians with a multilateral platform,” Akiva Eldar reported for Al-Monitor last month (March 29).
Using the Arab peace initiative as a framework “will enable the renewal of the multilateral channels established following the 1991 Madrid peace conference on the issues of regional security, refugees, water and economic and environmental development,” Eldar wrote.