Arab countries and world leaders react to Middle East peace plan

Palestinian protesters wave the national flag and a portrait of president Mahmoud Abbas during a demonstration in the West Bank city of Ramallah. (AFP)
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Updated 29 January 2020

Arab countries and world leaders react to Middle East peace plan

  • Jordan says it supports every genuine effort aimed at achieving just and comprehensive peace

As the world digested the details from the Middle East peace plan announced by Donald Trump on Tuesday, responses from the region ranged from optimism to outright anger. 
Here are the key responses to the plan:

JORDAN
“Jordan supports every genuine effort aimed at achieving just and comprehensive peace that people will accept," Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said, adding that the only path to a comprehensive and lasting peace was the establishment of an independent Palestinian state based on 1967 lines and with East Jerusalem as its capital.

EGYPT
The Egyptian Foreign Ministry issued a statement favoring a solution that restores “all the legitimate rights” of the Palestinian people through establishing an “independent and sovereign state on the occupied Palestinian territories.” Egypt said it appreciates US efforts to resolve the conflict, and urged Israelis and Palestinians to “carefully study” the Mideast peace plan.

UAE
The UAE’s Ambassador to Washington issued a statement affirming the belief in the possibility of a “lasting peace and genuine coexistence”, stating that “the peace plan announced today offers an important starting point for a return to negotiations within a U.S-led international framework.”

UNITED NATIONS:
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says the United Nations remains committed to realizing the vision of two states “living side by side in peace and security.” A spokesperson reaffirmed the UN position on the illegality of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and called for a solution based on the pre-1967 borders.

EUROPEAN UNION:
High Representative Josep Borrell said the EU will “study and assess the proposals”, adding that this will be done on the basis of the established EU position. This position respects all relevant UN resolutions and takes into account the legitimate aspirations of both the Palestinians and the Israelis. Most European capitals have expressed support for the negotiated solution. 

UK

"Only the leaders of Israel and the Palestinian territories can determine whether these proposals can meet the needs and aspirations of the people they represent," Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said. "We encourage them to give these plans genuine and fair consideration, and explore whether they might prove a first step on the road back to negotiations."

RUSSIA

"We must enter direct negotiations to reach a mutually acceptable compromise. We do not know if the American proposal is mutually acceptable or not. We must wait for the reaction of the parties," Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said.

IRAN
The shameful peace plan imposed by America on the Palestinians is the treason of the century and doomed to fail," the foreign ministry said.

TURKEY 

The United States' so-called peace plan is stillborn," Turkey's foreign ministry said in a statement. "This is an annexation plan aimed at killing a two-state solution and extorting the Palestinian territory,"


Turkish shelling kills 9 regime personnel in NW Syria: monitor

Updated 25 February 2020

Turkish shelling kills 9 regime personnel in NW Syria: monitor

  • UN says it was trying to double aid deliveries across a border crossing from Turkey from 50 to 100 trucks a day.
  • Idlib has seen hundreds of thousands of people flee the violence

BEIRUT: Turkish shelling Monday killed nine regime fighters in northwest Syria, where Ankara-backed rebels are fighting off advancing regime forces, a monitor said.
Syrian regime forces have since December clawed back parts of the last major opposition bastion of Idlib in violence that has displaced almost a million people.
Fighting raged on Monday, killing almost 100 fighters on both sides around the jihadist-dominated bastion, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said.
Those included 41 pro-regime fighters, as well as 53 jihadists and allied rebels.
Overall on Monday, the regime advanced rapidly in the south of the bastion, but lost the town of Nayrab along the M4 highway to Turkish-backed rebels in the southeast.
Turkish shelling in that area killed four regime fighters near Nayrab and another five near the town of Saraqeb to its east, the Britain-based Observatory said.
Opposition fighters had already broken back into Nayrab last week after the regime seized it at the start of the month, but then lost it again several hours later.
Saraqeb, which lies at the intersection of the M4 and another important highway the M5, has been under regime control since February 8.
Earlier Monday, Russian air strikes killed five civilians in the Jabal Al-Zawiya area in the south of the bastion, the Observatory said.
In fighting on the ground, regime forces seized 10 towns and villages south of the M4, which links the coastal regime stronghold of Latakia to government-held second city Aleppo, it said.
State news agency SANA, for its part, said “units of the Syrian army continued to progress in the south of Idlib” province.
Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman said the regime’s aim was to wrest back control of stretches of the M4 still under the control of jihadists and allied rebels.
That would require operations against the towns of Ariha and Jisr Al-Shughur, both along the M4.
Analysts expect a tough battle for Jisr Al-Shughur, held by the jihadist Turkistan Islamic Party whose fighters mainly hail from China’s Uighur Muslim minority.
They are allied to Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham, a group led by Syria’s former Al-Qaeda affiliate which dominates the Idlib region.
Loyalist forces have already taken back control of the M5, which connects the capital with Aleppo.
They have also secured the region around the northern city, a major pre-war industrial hub.
Fighting in northwest Syria since December has forced some 900,000 people to flee their homes and shelters amid bitter cold.
The United Nations said Monday that the latest fighting was coming “dangerously close” to encampments of the displaced, risking an imminent “bloodbath.”
Mark Cutts, a UN humanitarian coordinator, also told reporters in Geneva that the world body was trying to double aid deliveries across a border crossing with Turkey from 50 to 100 trucks a day.
Syria’s war has killed more than 380,000 people and displaced millions since starting in 2011 with the brutal repression of anti-government protests.