Egypt’s Sisi Opens Gaza Donor Conference, Urges Israel To Consider Arab Peace Initiative

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Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi urged Israel on Sunday to consider launching new peace efforts based on an Arab initiative first presented in 2002 and rejected by the Jewish state.
Sisi was opening a conference in Cairo on rebuilding Gaza after a 50-day war between the Hamas and Israel.

“We should turn this moment into a real starting point to achieve a peace that secures stability and flourishing and renders the dream of coexistence a reality, and this is the vision of the Arab peace initiative,” he said.

The plan, put forward by Saudi Arabia at an Arab League summit in Beirut in 2002, offered full recognition of Israel but only if it gave up all land seized in the 1967 Middle East war and agreed to a “just solution” for Palestinian refugees.

US Secretary of State John Kerry was also expected to use the conference to recommit Washington to a two-state solution and keep the door open to negotiations, officials said, though they offered no specifics and the chances for restarting the peace process soon appear dim.

One State Department official told AFP “you will hear the secretary reaffirm the commitment of the United States to helping the parties achieve a negotiated two-state solution and our willingness to reengage in the negotiations and help facilitate successful negotiations.

“More broadly, we are interested in sort of breaking the cycle we have been in in the last six years of war and reconstruction there,” the official added.

The European Union on Thursday said Gaza would be part of the future state of Palestine and must be seen within the larger context of the two-state solution.

“The situation in the Gaza Strip cannot and must not be seen separately from the broader challenges and developments on the ground that continue to make the prospect of the two-state solution increasingly difficult to attain,” it said at the 11th-meeting of the EU-Jordan Association Council in Brussels.

Kerry plans to meet Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Cairo and will seek to dissuade him from “very destabilizing” diplomatic moves, one US official said. The Palestinians have threatened to seek membership in the International Criminal Court as a forum to accuse Israel of war crimes.

US officials made clear they were encouraged by efforts by Abbas’s government to extend its authority to the Strip under a unity deal with Hamas.

Source : jpost