RIYADH: Saudi Arabia, the EU and along with Egypt and Jordan have issued a statement to revitalize the Palestinian-Israeli peace process, state news SPA reported on Tuesday.
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan co-chaired a meeting alongside Ahmed Aboul Gheit, the secretary-general of the Arab League; Josep Borrell, EU’s high representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy; Ayman Safadi, deputy prime minister and foreign minister of Jordan and Sameh Shoukry, Egypt’s foreign minister.
The meeting in New York was attended by representatives from nearly 70 countries and international organizations, and included around 50 speakers.
During the meeting, Prince Faisal said there would be no solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict without an independent Palestinian state.
“The two-state solution must return to the forefront,” he said. “We now see a continuing escalation in the occupied territories,” he added.
The meeting sought to produce a Peace Supporting Package that “will maximize peace dividends for the Palestinians and Israelis once they reach a peace agreement,” report noted.
“It seeks to produce detailed programs and contributions, conditional upon achieving a final status agreement, that will support the peace, and ensure that all peoples of the region reap its benefits. The effort seeks to ensure that Peace Day is a day of opportunity and promise, thus incentivizing earnest efforts to reach it.”
The statement noted that Israeli-Palestinian peace continued to be elusive since the peace process was launched in Madrid in 1991 as signed agreements, including the Oslo accords, have not been fully honored.
“The occupation continues and with it come a number of complications and difficulties that lead the parties further away from a possible agreement. The situation on the ground is proving to be untenable and the status quo is becoming impossible to accept, all the more in an international situation plagued with conflicts. Ignoring the need to revitalize the peace process is neither helpful to the parties nor to the present and future of the Middle East.”
The renewed effort is based on the urgent need to preserve the Two State Solution ensuring a viable sovereign independent and contiguous Palestinian state based on the June 4, 1967 lines, the SPA report added.
“The need to revitalize a meaningful peace process to achieve the Two State Solution, in accordance with international law, UNSC resolutions, the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative and the 2013 EU peace supporting offer cannot be overemphasized. The alternative is further deterioration that will threaten regional and international security,” the statement added.
“The Peace Day Effort builds, among others, on the Arab Peace Initiative (API), which was adopted by the Arab States to lay out their vision for a comprehensive regional peace and its terms and requirements. Predicated on the full withdrawal from all Palestinian and Arab territories occupied since 1967 in exchange for full normalization, the API was later endorsed by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and welcomed by the European Union and the United Nations.
“The Peace Day Effort also builds on the 2013 EU offer to provide an “unprecedented package of political, security and economic support” to both parties in the context of a final status agreement.”
The conveners also launched working groups charged with elaborating the components of the comprehensive Peace Supporting Package, and all participants were invited to contribute to the working groups.
The Working Groups will focus on identifying substantive elements of the Peace Supporting Package, and will convene in principle at Special Envoy or Ambassadorial level and will benefit from input by experts.