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OIC: Arab initiative remains realistic opportunity for Mideast peace

RIYADH: Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) officials said on Sunday at the Paris international conference that the Arab peace initiative remains a realistic opportunity in the Middle East.
OIC Secretary General Dr. Yousef A. Al-Othaimeen said the participation of of OIC member states at the conference indicated their commitment to supporting the Palestinian people’s rights.
He said the Arab initiative is still a historic, serious and realistic opportunity, and a courageous step toward peace, stability and security in the region.
He reiterated the OIC’s position welcoming the adoption of UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution 2334, which condemns Israeli settlements and demands a halt to their construction in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem.
He expressed hope that the resolution would be a step toward the UNSC carrying out its responsibilities and embodying a political reference that would enhance the chances of success of the Paris conference to achieve desired objectives.
These include the launch of a timed multilateral political process to end the Israeli occupation and achieve peace based on the two-state vision.
Al-Othaimeen reaffirmed that East Jerusalem is an integral part of the occupied Palestinian territories, and the capital of the State of Palestine.
He referred to the religious and spiritual centrality of the city, and the eternal ties of Muslims worldwide to Al-Aqsa Mosque.
He said this asserts the need to respect and ensure the unquestionable right of Muslims to practice their religious rights there.
Samir Bakr, OIC assistant secretary general for Palestine affairs, attended the preparatory meeting of senior officials to the conference on Saturday.
A joint declaration was agreed on at the preparatory meeting in Paris, attended by 69 delegates, which affirmed the international community’s commitment to the two-state solution. The joint declaration was formally adopted at the international conference.

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